Why we must report adverse effects of physical activity promotion

Ok, this one was published a little while ago but due to holidays we have a backlog of news to cover. This editorial was written in collaboration with Caroline Finch from ACRISP (Melbourne, Australia) and Caroline Bolling from Minas Tenis Clube (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) and can thus be seen as a global effort to recognise the adverse effects of healthy physical activity. The impact of (in)sufficient levels of physical activity (PA) have been well described and without argument, the promotion of PA—defined as moderate to vigorous physical activities, including sports and exercise—is now a cornerstone of contemporary public health. In our global effort to decrease the individual and public burden of chronic and lifestyle-related diseases, PA is being promoted as a medicine or drug, with the implication that it is a treatment and a preventive measure. Although the pharmacological benefits of PA have been well described, the analogy between PA as medicine is not drawn in full, because any substance that is capable of producing a therapeutic effect can also produce unwanted or adverse effects. The potential for adverse effects of PA - injuries - and the need to mitigate them, are mostly ignored in PA research and PA interventions alike. We argue in this piece that injuries should not be neglected and that prevention strategies will ensure that all can enjoy PA throughout their lifespans.

The full article can be accessed here.

Evert VerhagenCaroline BollingCaroline F Finch. Caution this drug may cause serious harm! Why we must report adverse effects of physical activity promotion. Br J Sports Med bjsports-2014-093604