What is Physical Activity Leadership Program (PALP)?
With the Healthy Nutrition and Active Life Program published and conducted by Turkiye Ministry of Health Public Health Institution, it is aimed to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity in the country through family physicians and physical education teachers within the scope of fight against obesity carried out countrywide. It is aimed to arouse interest to physical activity, to ensure that the family physicians share the physical activity suggestions with their patients; and through physical activity teachers, it is aimed to increase the awareness of new generation from childhood and with transmitting the physical activity reports to parents, to improve the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of parents about the subject.Please support patients and relatives as well as certification.
It is aimed to make family physicians and physical education teachers as physical activity leaders and make them physical activity spokesman.
Promoting Active Life Project aims to reduce physical inactivity through raising awareness of two important target groups (family physicians and teachers) who are in touch with public in Turkiye.
The program includes family physicians and physical education teachers who participate on a voluntary basis. To the leaders participating in the program; in face-to-face training sessions, and on an example of an advanced society model; in-depth training on physical activity, and materials and resources they can share with their patients and students are provided.Besides, all leaders participating in the measurement of the impact of physical activity and perception about the subject are added as researchers to the coordinated research. The trainings for the research technique and researches to be carried out are also given within the scope of this program. In addition, the program offers the opportunity to collaborate and interact with each other in order to use the power of information in leadership potential.
Why is physical activity important?
Every year, 55000 people in our country die because of physical inactivity!
Inactive life is at the forefront of the most important problems for the modern society, who even makes daily shopping at virtual markets on the computer.
Physical inactivity, one of the common risk factors for chronic diseases, ranks fourth in the world in terms of the risk factors leading to death (6% of deaths worldwide).
It is estimated that the main cause of approximately 21-25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes and 30% of ischemic heart disease are physical inactivity. The spread of an inactive lifestyle is one of the important factors that cause the increase of obesity.
Physical inactivity is a serious health risk not only for adults but also for children and young people. Apart from genetic, environmental and biological factors; the most important factors in the development of chronic diseases are inactivity and malnutrition. Many chronic diseases that we have become accustomed to seeing in advanced ages are now observed in childhood because of the adoption of inactive lifestyle. For this reason, increasing the movement in children from infancy and reducing the inactive period during the day has a particular importance.
Physical inactivity shortens the life span directly!
Lack of physical activity accelerates the physiological changes caused by the aging process, increases the frequency of many chronic diseases, causes these diseases to appear earlier and shortens the life span.
All these studies show that physical activity is a vital necessity in every age and group and it is an indispensable part of daily life.
Physical activity serves in countless positive factors in our body health, emotional and social health and our future life.
Regular physical activity has a major impact on areas such as providing ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer reduction, preventing and treating obesity, retarding bone erosion and aging, preventing falls in elderly, preventing and treating depression, reducing stress, increasing brain functions and muscle and strength resistance. Besides, regular physical activity regulates sleep, makes us socialized, increases tiredness resistance and self-confidence.
If there was a drug that did all the positive things that exercise did, the doctors would recommend it to all their patients, and our health system would find a way for every patient to have access to this ‘wonderful medicine’.
So, what is physical activity?
Physical activity: In daily life, every move made by using skeletal muscles and requiring energy expenditure is defined as physical activity.
Exercise (Regular Physical Activity): Regular, planned and repetitive physical activities aimed at protecting or improving one or more components of physical fitness.
Sport: The type of activity carried out by licensed amateur and professional athletes, often held for competition purposes, within certain rules. On the other hand, activities such as basketball and football played in the district areas are also settled in our daily life as sports.
In this context, exercise and sports are physical activities right along with daily life activities such as playing games, housework, gardening, walking, going up and down stairs, eating and bathing.
What should the duration and frequency of physical activity be?
Health protective and enhancing effect can only be seen by making planned, repetitive and regular physical activities with daily activities..
A moderate intensity exercise of 150 minutes (30 minutes, five days a week) per week is sufficient for adults to preserve and improve health.
Children between 1-4 years of age should perform a total of 180 minutes of physical activity at different aggressions during the day. For children and adolescents between 5-18 years of age, 60 minutes of daily activities from medium moderate to severe moderate are recommended.
During moderate activities, the person can talk but cannot sing. Walking fast, low tempo running, dancing, jumping rope, swimming, playing table tennis, low tempo riding bicycle, etc.
During high intensity activities, the person cannot speak more than a few words without interruption during the activity. Jogging, basketball, football, volleyball, handball, playing tennis, joining step-aerobic classes, dancing etc.
Significance of physical activity in non-communicable chronic diseases
In our country, an average of 3.2 million people loses their life because of physical inactivity every year.
Non-communicable diseases are the biggest problem which threatens public health all over the and Turkiye. There are common, preventable risk factors under non-communicable diseases. These factors are tobacco dependence, physical inactivity, unhealthy nutrition and harmful alcohol use. Among the effects of these behavioral risk factors and other metabolic / physiological causes on the epidemic of global non-communicable disease are overweight and obesity.
Children need at least 1 hour of live activity!
Also in Turkiye, chronical diseases are on the first rank in regard to cause of death and disease burden. Researches show that overweight and obesity prevalence is increasing in our country as well as in the world and that obesity is beginning to affect our children and our young people in particular. The obesity prevalence in the 0-5 age group is 8,5% and the overweight prevalence is 17,9%. The obesity prevalence in all adults aged 19 and over in Turkiye is 30,3% and the light fatness prevalence is 34,6%. The main objective of national health policies is to achieve a healthy society consisted of healthy individuals.
Within the context of controlling and preventing obesity process, increasing the physical activity levels of citizens is an important success parameter. Researches show that on average, 3,2 million people lose their lives due to physical inactivity every year. And this means that physical inactivity kills almost as much as traffic accidents every year. While people who exercise regularly in our country constitute only 3,5% of the total population, 72% of the population is physically inactive.
The significance of family physicians
As from 2011, Turkiye passed into family medicine system countrywide. Currently, approximately 21.500 family physicians are employed in 6.500 family health centers. An average of 3.500 people is registered to each family physician.
The family medicine system is a population based functioning system. With the registered population working principle of the family medicine system, promoting healthy life and effective chronic disease management is possible.
One of the most effective ways to promote physical activity in Turkiye is the family medicine system. Each of the 77 million citizens is registered with a family physician. Reducing the prevalence of obesity within the scope of preventive medicine is within the responsibility of family physicians. For this reason, Promoting Active Life Project has importance on increasing awareness of family physicians’ positions regarding physical activity and its place in the prevention of disease and their direct and effective touches to society.
The significance of physical education teachers
In Turkiye, 12 years of elementary and secondary education prior to university is mandatory for every citizen. For this reason, the other important group who is in effective contact with the whole society especially at a young age is teachers. Increasing awareness of all teachers at the level of Turkiye Ministry of National Education and especially physical education teachers on physical activity and its importance will be an important step in raising the awareness of our children and families about obesity and non-communicable diseases in the short term and the society’s becoming more physically active in the middle and long term.
You can find the training kit for family physicians here,
And the training kit for physical education teachers here.
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Satman İ, Yılmaz T, Şengül A, Salman S, Salman F et al. Population-based study of diabetes and risk characteritics in Turkey. Diabetes Care; 25(9):1551-1556, 2002.
Turkiye Ministry of Health Public Health Agency Family Medicine, General Information., http://ailehekimligi.gov.tr/ (Date of access October 17, 2013)