In general, the benefits of physical activity according to the recommendation are significantly greater than the risks. With regular physical activity of moderate intensity, the risks are very low. Musculoskeletal injuries are more common than cardiovascular complications, which, however, can be of a more serious nature. An increase in risk is seen above all at a higher dose or intensity. When advising on physical activity, the individual’s state of health and the relative intensity of the activity should be taken into account.
Gradual increase in intensity/dose can reduce possible risks, and especially when prescribing high-intensity physical activity, the dose should initially be lower than what can provide optimal effect. With regular exercise, the risk of suffering from cardiovascular complications is lower. Individual risk assessment is always included when advising on physical activity in health care. The goal of the risk assessment is to identify individuals.
Who, due to increased cardiovascular risk, should undergo medical assessment before starting the physical activity (training period) or when increasing the dose.
Who should have medically supervised training.
Where disease-specific precautions are available.
Special attention should be directed to suspected untreated or not optimally treated cardiovascular disease.
One third of all people aged 16–84 are judged to be insufficiently physically active, that is, do not achieve recommended physical activity. The proportion is higher among those with a disability, a low level of education or among those born abroad. Since insufficient physical activity is associated with an increased risk of ill-health, there is a great potential for preventive measures, which must now be provided by primary care in accordance with support in the health and medical care act.
According to the national board of health and welfare, people with insufficient physical activity and a particular risk of ill health should be offered counseling sessions, which can be supplemented with a written prescription of physical activity or activity meters.
Muscle-strengthening physical activity aims to increase strength, muscular endurance or muscle mass. Sedentary activity is defined as sitting or lying down activities in the awake state that do not significantly increase energy consumption beyond that at rest. The strength of the recommendation describes the balance between profit and risk and is indicated as strong or weak. Evidence refers to the quality of the scientific basis and is indicated as strong, moderate, low or insufficient.