Exercise is medicine: Technogym’s fitness for physical health

Technogym’s thirty-year commitment to promote wellness also implies exercise to improve people’s physical conditions scientifically and medically

Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, smoking and stress: the issue of harmful patterns and of their economic, social and health implications is so widespread it can be compared to a pandemic; this is why it needs to be urgently tackled through innovative and effective strategies.

According to the data collected by the World Health Organisation, chronic diseases linked to unhealthy lifestyles (the so-called “non-communicable diseases”) are leading cause of premature death on a global level; and what’s more, since 2008, the overall number of overweight people has exceeded the amount of undernourished people. Chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) cause 41 million deaths each year, which is to say 71% of all deaths; 15 million of these deaths are premature and take place between the ages of 30 and 69, and over 1.6 million are exclusively caused by the lack of physical activity.

There’s a great deal of evidence about the effects of regular physical exercise on people's health and quality of life, which is also well supported by the scientific literature. Prestigious scientific journals point out several indicators of the benefits of physical activity, among which:

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week prevent major chronic diseases for the overall population.
  • It delays the onset and reduces the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's by 47%.
  • It significantly reduces the mortality rate related to cardiovascular diseases.
  • In people at high risk of developing diabetes, it reduces this risk by 58%.
  • It reduces fractures induced by osteoporotic problems by 48%.
  • It reduces anxiety by 48% and improves depressive states by 30%.
  • Epidemiological studies have shown that the volume of physical activity is inversely related to the risk of developing the most common forms of cancer (breast, colon, prostate, lung).
  • In subjects who have already developed neoplasms, there is solid evidence that physical activity lengthens life expectancy and reduces the risk of recurrence.
Scientific literature also shows that structured exercise generally offers greater benefits than simple physical activity alone. Both aerobic and strength training have positive effects on the prevention and treatment of major chronic diseases, and their combination increases their effectiveness.

Technogym has supported the role of physical activity as a medicine for years through its research activities and its complete ecosystem of products and programmes. Technogym has also been chosen as a partner for several projects and institutional initiatives linked to the promotion of physical exercise as a form of prevention and as a real medicine for treating numerous pathologies.

For years, the firm has supported many cultural and informative activities to promote wellness as a social opportunity and to encourage regular physical exercise; this was done in collaboration with numerous national trade associations (Anif in Italy, UK Active, NL Actief, Fitness Australia, etc.) for a total investment of around € 100,000 for the promotion of national initiatives. At supranational level, it’s been years since Technogym has become the reference partner of the European trade organisation EuropeActive (which it supports through an investment of about € 70,000) and IHRSA, a fitness trade association based in the US and operating globally through a $ 25,000 investment. Moreover, the brand also makes its own contribution to events in the international economic scenario, such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, where Technogym’s CEO and founder Nerio Alessandri is one of the promoters of the health & life-quality working group.

As far as Exercise Is Medicine is specifically concerned, Technogym has been a partner of this initiative for 8 years. Such notable campaign is promoted by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association, the two most important American associations in the field of physical exercise and health. The American Medical Association brings together all American doctors with the aim of setting treatment standards, while the American College of Sports Medicine is the world's leading sports medicine association.

The concrete goal of the campaign is to include movement – intended as structured and systematic exercisein medical prescriptions: the amount and quality of physical activity performed by the patient must be considered by the general practitioner as a clinical parameter on a par with blood pressure, weight and glycaemia.

Researchers at the American College of Sports Medicine partnered with Technogym to draw up a series of protocols for the treatment of numerous diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis by means of specific exercise programmes; on the other hand, the American Medical Association has made its training and information channels available to promote the prescription of these therapeutic protocols among doctors.

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