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Istituto Superiore di Sanità
EpiCentro - Epidemiology for public health
Epidemiology for public health - ISS

The scientific evidence is clear: regular physical activity contributes to a healthy lifestyle and has significant benefits for general health.


Regular moderate-intensity exercise improves quality of life (regardless of age), having a positive impact on both physical health (by helping to prevent and ease the symptoms of several chronic diseases) and overall life satisfaction (by helping to develop social relationships and increasing psychological well-being). Physical activity reduces blood pressure, controls glucose levels, regulates cholesterol in the blood, helps prevent osteoarthritis as well as metabolic, cardiovascular and neoplastic diseases, and burns excess body fat. In addition, it reduces symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression, helps manage feelings of loneliness, and clearly improves musculoskeletal health.


Physical exercise (preferably aerobic) does not need to be intense: it may involve simple activities that are part of daily life, such as walking, dancing, cycling and doing the housework. Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines physical activity as “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure”.

Publication date: 29 March 2021