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Commentary on BJSM/2008/052589
  1. Sarah Witkowski (switkows{at}
  1. University of Maryland, United States
    1. Espen E Spangenburg (espen{at}
    1. University of Maryland, United States


      Physical activity is a key component of our environment that is a major contributor to the prevention of many chronic diseases that plague our society. Dr. Frank Booth and colleagues have argued on numerous occasions that the human body evolved to expect and respond to high levels of physical activity, whereas currently, our society provides us with technical innovations that encourage low levels of physical activity.1 The unfortunate result is that people are less physically active than ever and there are epidemic elevations in various chronic diseases. Numerous publications have shown that reduced physical activity significantly and unequivocally increases an individual's risk for developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. 2-6 The data are so convincing that the Center for Disease Control lists physical inactivity as a potential cause for a number of chronic diseases.7 Contrary to the viewpoints of some, there are no medications that are as effective as regularly-performed exercise for preventing conditions such as type 2 diabetes.8 Therefore, it is imperative that we continue to work to unravel the mechanisms that control phenotypic changes in response to alterations in physical activity state.

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