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Healing Effects of Physical Activity and Movement

3.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to examine the profound physical and psychological benefits of physical activity and movement.
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Physical activity and movement are essential elements of any program designed for obtaining or maintaining health and well-being. While most individuals associate physical activity with aerobics, many activities comprise a well-rounded and interesting physical fitness and movement program.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the types of physical activity.
  • Explain the four factors of an exercise program.
  • Explain the physiological benefits of physical activity and movement.
  • Identify the risks of exercise.
  • Explain the psychological benefits of physical activity and movement.
  • Describe the mechanics of breathing.
  • Explain the philosophical basis of yoga.
  • Identify the categories of yoga.
  • Explain the origins and philosophical basis of Tai Chi Chuan.
  • Describe the principles and concepts of Tai Chi Chuan.
  • Explain the benefits of Tai Chi Chuan.
  • Describe important steps in initiating a physical activity program.

The human body is an amazing, complex phenomenon with approximately 60 trillion cells (Eliopoulos, 2017). It’s made to move; it’s that simple. From the high school coach who said sports build character to the way you feel on the dance floor boogying with your friends to tossing a Frisbee at a park, moving feels good. Even as you sit and read this course, your heart pumps blood across miles of arteries and veins, your eyes move across the page, your lungs expand and contract, and neurons in your brain fire. Every time you move a muscle, your cells mobilize energy and remove waste products. Thousands of processes occur in your body to support the essence of who you are (Seaward, 2017).

Human survival has been based on a fight-or-flight response that involves hormones producing an increase in blood pressure to shunt blood from the body’s core to its periphery and allow major muscles to help people escape their real (or imagined) enemies (Eliopoulos, 2017).

Although people once used muscles as part of their everyday lives in farming, cooking, and cleaning, less than 1% of all energy used in factories, workshops, and farms today comes from human muscles. While increasing numbers of people exercise regularly, few exercise at the intensity or frequency needed to obtain maximal health benefits (Halderman & Jackson, 2012).

Low levels of physical activity continue to be a major public health challenge in almost every population group, despite the fact that incorporating physical activity into all areas of daily living is critical.

In the 1960s, President John F. Kennedy launched the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and officially began the fitness craze. In the first-ever organized effort to encourage children to get up and move, children of all ages were tested to see how well they could climb a rope, perform sit-ups and push-ups, and run specific distances. Today’s children struggle with an ever-increasing sedentary lifestyle and unprecedented obesity (Eliopoulos, 2017).

The lack of physical activity starts early in life. By age 10, more than one third of American children have already adopted a sedentary lifestyle (Leddy, 2006). For those interested in improving the aging process, improved physical fitness is a priority. In fact, the U.S. Congress even broadened its definition of the Older Americans Act (in 1975) to include those services that enable older persons to attain and maintain physical and mental well-being through programs of regular physical activity (Eliopoulos, 2017).

Once thought to be necessary only for athletes in training, exercise is now known to be good for everyone. Fitness is not limited to any particular age, ethnic, or cultural group, and physical limitations do not mean that someone cannot engage in health-promoting movement activity. In fact, it is a myth that someone who is aging or who has a health condition must experience physical decline, physical dysfunction, or dependency. These conditions result from stagnation and inactivity, not from the individual’s age (Eliopoulos, 2017).

Some variations in exercise participation accompany ethnic, gender, educational, and occupational characteristics. For example, according to Leddy (2006):

  • African-American and other ethnic minorities are less active than white Americans.
  • White-collar workers and higher-educated people are more active than those with less education.
  • Men are more active than women, and younger individuals are more active than older adults.
  • People with a negative health status (e.g., smokers and overweight individuals) are more likely to be sedentary, and even their knowledge of their risk status does not motivate them to remain active.

It is amazing how much better people feel when they exercise regularly and move freely and creatively to the rhythm of their lives (Halderman & Jackson, 2012).

The ancient Greek ideal of sound mind in a strong, sound body is once again important to the development of total health. Eliopoulos (2017) notes that muscles are made to be worked and exercised, and just as the human spirit flourishes when it has a job, the body thrives when it is moving.

A healthy physical body is a temple for the mind-spirit, and the way people care for their physical bodies affects all aspects of their lives—self-esteem, self-care practices, longevity, and the ability to care for or serve others (Halderman & Jackson, 2012).

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Occupational Therapy Process

Course Expires:

September 11, 2021

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.