The following question refers to Section 5.2 of the 2021 ESC CV Prevention Guidelines. The question is asked by MGH medicine resident Dr. Christian Faaborg-Andersen, answered first by Dr. Jessie Holtzman, and then by expert faculty Dr. Laurence Sperling.
Dr. Laurence Sperling is the Katz Professor in Preventive Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine and Founder of Preventive Cardiology at the Emory Clinic. Dr. Sperling was a member of the writing group for the 2018 Cholesterol Guidelines, serves as Co-Chair for the ACC’s Cardiometabolic and Diabetes working group, and is Co-Chair of the WHF Roadmap for Cardiovascular Prevention in Diabetes.
The CardioNerds Decipher The Guidelines Series for the 2021 ESC CV Prevention Guidelines represents a collaboration with the ACC Prevention of CVD Section, the National Lipid Association, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.
What percentage of the European population currently meets the recommended physical activity guidelines (150 minutes moderate-intensity activity weekly or 75 minutes vigorous-intensity activity weekly)?
The correct answer is A: <10% of the European population currently meets the recommended physical activity guidelines.
The American Heart Association, European Society of Cardiology, and World Health Organization all share the recommendation that adults should engage in 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity. They recognize that additional health benefits may be garnered from incremental increases to 300 minutes per week of moderate intensity activity or 150 minutes per week of vigorous intensity activity, with a recommendation to include both aerobic and muscular strength training activities.
Society level interventions to increase physical activity have been proposed including school-based activity programs, improved accessibility of exercise facilities across the socioeconomic spectrum, and governmental consideration of physical activity when designing cities (i.e. including pedestrian and cycling lanes). Other policy suggestions with varying levels of evidence include focused media campaigns, economic incentives, targeting labeling of physical activity opportunities, and work-place wellness programs.
Despite growing awareness of the health consequences of sedentary behavior, fewer than 10% of adults currently meet the minimum recommended quantity of physical activity. Public health leaders may continue to consider novel legislative initiatives to augment physical activity on a societal level with architectural design and financial incentives.