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January 27, 1997

Dose of Exercise and Health Benefits

Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(2):153-154. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440230019003

There is a growing consensus that a fit and active way of life makes substantial contributions to health and function. Several recent reports1-5 from scientific and public health groups underscore this point and conclude that physical inactivity is a major public health problem in the United States and many other countries. There is a general agreement in these various reports that moderate amounts and intensities of exercise provide important health benefits. For example, the Surgeon General's report1 concludes that health can be improved by "becoming even moderately active on a regular basis." As Williams6 points out in his article in this issue of the ARCHIVES, some people, especially headline writers, take the recent public health recommendations for physical activity to mean there is no further benefit to be obtained from high levels of high-intensity exercise. Williams states in his discussion that these recommendations "deemphasize the importance of

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