Ann Agric Environ Med 2019 Mar 26;26(1):8-12. Epub 2018 Nov 26.
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Medical University, Łódź, Poland.
Introduction: Physical activity is one of the basic needs of people throughout their lives. Physical activity prevents many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, which have the highest mortality rate, both among urban and rural populations in Poland. The average life expectancy in Poland and the European Union is increasing. The proportion of children and adolescents under the age of 20 is decreasing slowly but steadily, while the proportion of older people (aged 65+) in the total population is gradually increasing. According to the forecast of the Central Statistical Office, the percentage of older people increased rapidly after 2010, and will reach 22.3% in 2030. The number of the elderly will increase from 5,134,000 in 2007 to 8,195,000 in 2030. The health situation of Poles is less favourable compared to other European Union states. The most common health risks are: nicotine, drug addiction, alcoholism and obesity. One of the causes of obesity is an unhealthy lifestyle. Lifestyle is a basic determinant of human health.
Objective: The aim of this study is to present research results based on a literature review on the importance of physical activity for human health as an element of organizing and managing the lifestyle of urban and rural populations.
Conclusions: Comprehensive measures should be taken to increase public health awareness and promote health education, especially among school-age children and youths, and to provide appropriate sports infrastructure in particularly neglected rural areas.