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The importance of safe physical activity for all
  1. Laura Purcell
  1. Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Brantford, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Laura Purcell, Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; purcellk{at}

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As sport and exercise medicine physicians, we strive to provide excellent clinical care for athletes of all types to ensure that they can continue to participate safely in physical activity at all levels. As clinicians, we rely on high-quality research to provide the evidence to inform our management discussions and decisions. In this Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) issue, we explore exercise prescription, injury prevention and female athletes with a focus on how physical activity and appropriate guidelines for safe physical activity is critical for all of us to be healthy.

Exercise prescription and physical activity

Physical activity has proven benefits in the management of a number of chronic conditions, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, abdominal obesity and low back pain. In this issue, Drs Hanssen and Pescatello discuss the merits of isometric resistance training as an effective modality in reducing blood pressure (see page 231) . Exercise prescription for the treatment of persistent low back pain is explored by Lianne Wood (see page 222) . Dr Sanchez-Lastra and his group studied the association between physical activity, abdominal obesity and subsequent cardiovascular events and found that 30–35 min of vigorous intensity physical activity per week offsets the association between abdominal obesity and incident cardiovascular disease (see page 196) . More evidence to support the benefits of being active!

Injury prevention

An inherent aspect of sport participation is the risk of injury, and therefore, injury prevention is of utmost importance to keep athletes of all levels participating safely in physical activity. We include articles on injury prevention in this issue, including one by Dr Douryang, a physiotherapist in Cameroon, who studied sport-related injuries in university students and determined that neuromuscular training could be an opportunity for injury prevention in university athletes (see page 233) . Another article by Dr Bruder in Australia evaluates the implementation of an injury prevention programme for female elite Australian football athletes (see page 213) . Both important contributions to keeping athletes safe!

Female athletes

Research in female athletes continues to lag behind research in male athletes, resulting in a lack of knowledge in female-specific physical activity and a lack of guidelines specific to females in various stages of life. Dr Christopher and her group tackled this head-on in their consensus statement by providing much-needed guidance for women returning to running postpartum (see page 183) . Dr McNulty advocates for more research in female athletes in her editorial (see page 180) . Achieving more equity in research is crucial to ensure that all athletes can access appropriate advice and guidelines for safe sport participation.

A sport medicine splashtacular!

CASEM is partnering with the Ontario Medical Association Sport and Exercise Medicine Section to host the annual conference in Niagara Falls Ontario 28–31 May 2024. This will be in person at the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel. Keeping with tradition, this conference will provide high-quality continuing professional development, combining research and practical practise pearls on such topics as concussion, air pollution and sport, Achilles tendon rupture management, mental health and safe sport. There will be a number of pre-conference offerings, including a basic team physician course, emergency sidelines course and an anti-doping update, as well as a paediatric post-conference day. Hope to see you at the Falls!

Safe physical activity for all

As role models and leaders in safe physical activity for all, it is important for all of us to practice what we preach so I encourage all of you to stay well by staying active safely.

Ethics statements

Patient consent for publication


  • Contributors I am the sole author of this warm up article.

  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests President, CASEM Speaker, Head Injury Summit II Chicago May 2023 (travel expenses) Speaker, Family Medicine Forum Toronto November 2022 (travel expenses) Expert Panellist, 6th International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport (travel expenses).

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.