In recent times it increasingly concerns us the rising of chronic diseases, which are associated with use of unhealthy diet, increased body weight and lack of physical activity.

Globalization and accelerated urbanization, diet and insufficient physical activity are affecting the occurrence of chronic diseases can be prevented, such as cardio-vascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, some cancers, respiratory diseases and obesity . It is believed that 31% of the world’s population are not sufficiently physically active, whereas in adults this percentage is 60%.

In the World Health Report of WHO appointed physical inactivity as a major factor for the increase of chronic diseases in morbidity and mortality globally (along with unhealthy diet and tobacco use). The risk of getting cardiovascular disease increases in people who do not practice the recommendations of minimum physical activity.

Chronic diseases account for over 60% as a cause of premature death, which represent the largest cause of death and disability worldwide. Physical inactivity is the fourth place as a leading risk factor for death. Physical inactivity is associated with 3.2 million deaths per year (of which 2.6 million in low- or middle-income); 670,000 deaths (under the age of 60 years) and 30% of cases of diabetes and ischemic heart disease. (Http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/releases/move/)

The decision to have health, social and economic benefit in all age groups is to practice physical activity at least 30 minutes everyday.



Adults should be active. The benefits of exercise can be detected once the first week of regular exercise (you will feel more energy, relaxation, the blood pressure will normalize). After three months it improves health, muscles and the bones are to strengthen, it will increase confidence and improve the appearance.

PA significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, and helps to control risk factors for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes type 2, osteoporosis, some cancers, obesity, depression. Physical activity reduces stress. It increases energy, improves sleep and digestion.

Stress significantly affect health. Walking and running to reduce stress. Regular exercise to maintain the condition of the body in order to handle stress (anxiety-reducing reaction to stress), lowers blood pressure and regulates the heart. Long-term exposure to stress can increase the level of blood cholesterol and blood pressure and to stimulate the development of atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries). The good news is that the FA can help you manage stress. Tightening exercises are a good way of dealing with stress. Exercises to reduce muscle tension, and improves elasticity. FA increase the level of endorphins in the body resulting in a good sense, humility and reduced anxiety.

Exercises reduce long-term (chronic) back pain, strengthens the body and it becomes more elastic.

Disturbed sleep is often present at the elderly people. It is often associated with depression, anxiety and cognitive disorders. Physical activity contributes to better sleep (faster sleep and longer periods of low-wave sleep).

Physical activity improves sexual health (improved self-perception, a higher level of satisfaction, improved activity).

There are many other useful things connected with the PA.

People who have arthritis or osteoporosis, physical activity is very important to be mobile. For People with heart attack, physical activity is important to prevent another heart attack. Physical activity helps to Persons over 65 years to strengthen muscles and bones, and to prevent fall.

It is recommended that adults should  exercise PA at least 150 minutes per week (www.csep.ca). Proposals for the spring and summer: cycling, gardening, hiking, basketball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, walking. In autumn and winter: bowling, dancing, hiking, skiing, weight lifting, walking, yoga and more.

Messages for adults:

  • Try physical activity to become a daily activity. Walk to work, during lunch break and after work.
  • If you start now, start slowly ,then gradually increase the physical activity. Let exercise be your daily activity. Take a walk in the neighborhood, play with the kids or dance to the beat of your music.
  • Practice with your family, with friends.
  • Go to work by bike; climb up the stairs instead of the elevator; walk to school; take the car far away from parking lot, wash the car by yourself. Walking is easy, fun, and there are immediate benefits. More than half the body’s muscles are used during walking. 3 months or less will experience great change. You will feel better, and have more energy!
  • Adults, walk or ride a bike (eg.to The workplace); Limit time in front of TV / computer; Set a goal for PA and make a plan to achieve the goal; connect with others (friends) who practice the PA!
  • Families, practice common PA (walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, gardening)!



ESPAD survey conducted in 2012 in Skopje showed that 6% of pupils aged 16 years, did not do sports, 6.6% only a few times a year, 12% prefer 1-2 times a month, once a week sports 34%,  daily 41% . But unlike PA, 78.6% of students use the Internet daily, for entertainment, and 13.5% at least once a week (ESPAD Report 2012).

Children exercises strengthens the heart and helps to maintain normal weight and blood pressure, which will continue to affect to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke when they grow up. Children are naturally active, energetic, but if you do not encourage them to the physical activities, they may become inactive. They spend more time on sitting – in school, playing video games, watching television, using the Internet.

The type and amount of physical activity changes with age. Physical activity for children is fun, they feel happy, develops self-confidence, and improves attention and learning. Physical activity of 60 minutes a day helps children and young people to improve their health, to enhance physical, to have fun with friends, to be happier, to enhance confidence,to maintain a healthy weight, and to learn new skills .

Children aged 5-17 years should reduce the time they spend sitting. The time they spend in front of TV or computer should be reduced to no more than 2 hours per day (www.csep.ca). Instead of riding in bus, it is better to walk to school and more time to spend away from home. Studies have shown that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise improves productivity, rapid thinking and decision making.

Children and Youth, replace sitting on the computer and watching TV with any activity (walking, running, riding a bike, skateboard, roller skates, sports, or just play in the park!


Facts about physical activity:

  • Physical inactivity is a significant risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • PA affects the psychological well-being and relieving depression. It helps in dealing with stress and stop smoking.
  • On average 85% of adults do not practice enough physical activity (not recommended for persons who opt for aerobics, to exercise 150 minutes a week aerobics deployed in batches of 10 minutes).
  • Daily exercise of 60 minutes is recommended for young people. But young people spend twice as much time in front of TV or computer compared to P
  • PA helps in the prevention of heart attack or stroke by regulating blood pressure and increased levels of good HDL cholesterol.
  • if PA is practiced 60 minutes a day, it is considered to be avoid 33% of all deaths related to coronary heart disease, 25% of deaths due to stroke, 20% of deaths associated with diabetes type 2 and 20% related deaths with high blood pressure.
  • Data show that in obese people PA helps in maintaining health (lower rate of coronary artery disease and a lower mortality rate).


Start today to change the future!


Do not allow disease to steal your dreams for active years in old age!



Prepared by: Sector for promotion, analysis and monitoring of non-comunicable diseases