“Research on primary prevention of chronic disease demonstrated that the evidence for positive effects on health is strong for type 2 diabetes, postmenopausal breast and colorectal cancer, and chronic heart diseases.”
Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, and the increased in non-communicable diseases around the world is one of the serious consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.
Within the past several years the health benefits of regular physical activity have been affirmed by governmental and non-governmental organizations. The promotion of physical activity for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases requires an analysis of the research that is currently available in order to fill in the existing gaps in evidence.
This review assesses the existing evidence for physical activity and/or exercise as prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Based on the gathered literature, a gap-analysis was conducted in order to identify missing knowledge about the role of physical activity and/or exercise in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Finally, this review discusses how the health and fitness industry can join the health sector as a provider, including an overall analysis of the healthcare market with a focus on existing regulations and stakeholders.