Subject: Exercise and Public Health

Scientific Area:

Sport Sciences


32 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

0 - The main objective of this course is to demonstrate the importance of physical activity as a key instrument of Public Health and at the same time understand the different strategies and methodologies of intervention, aimed at the widespread and regular practice. The importance of physical activity as inducer behaviour of a healthy state, and their influence in various behaviours and pathogenic markers. More specifically, the main objectives are:
1 - To analyse and understand the effects of physical activity in the community, in an epidemiological context and respective indicators;
2 - Perceive the importance and evolution of public health, its different areas and functions;
3 - Understand and analyse the integration of physical activity and public health;
4 - Be able to describe and characterize the set of activities with important health promoter effect;
5 - Identify and characterize methodologies and more effective intervention techniques for promoting physical activity in the community.


1 - Concepts and framework of physical activity in the context of health.
2 - The various definitions of physical inactivity, physical activity, exercise and public health.
3 - Health, longevity and mortality in active vs sedentary populations.
4 - Risk factors and epidemiology. The concepts of prevalence, incidence, relative risk and community risk and the economic costs of chronic diseases.
5 - Epidemiology of physical activity. The effects of sedentary lifestyle and physical activity on physical fitness and health and its impact on health care costs.
6 - Defining moments in public health.
7 - The different areas of specialization in public health.
8 - Basic functions of public health.
9 - Integrating public health and physical activity.
10 - Activities and behaviours that promote health.
11 - Theories and models for promoting physical activity.
12 - Strategies for effective health promotion at Community level and in the workplace.


Bouchard, C., Blair, S., Haskell, W. , 2007 , Physical Activity and Health , Human Kinetics, Champaign
Teixeira, P., Sardinha, L., Barata, J. , 2008 , Nutrição, Exercício e Saúde , Lidel, Lisboa
Harold, H. , 2012 , Foundations of Physical Activity and Public Health , Human Kinetics, Champaign
Sardinha, L.B., & Matos, M. , 1997 , Promoção da saúde: modelos e práticas de intervenção nos âmbitos da actividade física, nutrição e tabagismo , Edições FMH
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , 1996 , Physical Activity and Health: A Report from the Surgeon General , NCCDPHP
Marcus, B.H.; Forsyth, L. , 2009 , Motivating People to Be Physically Active - 2nd Edition , Human Kinetics, Champaign
Dishman, R.K. , 1994 , Advances in Exercise Adherence. , Human Kinetics. Champaign
Sardinha, L.B., & Matos, M. , 1997 , O aconselhamento para a actividade física , Edições FMH
Wilson, B.R., & Glaros, T.E. , 1996 , Managing Health Promotion Programs , Human Kinetics, Champaign

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
1. The contents are selected in theoretical and theoretical-practical sessions as well as laboratory practices. 2. In the first is used the expository method, using additionally the projection of slides. 3. In theoretical-practical and laboratory classes is privileged the discussion of particular issues and problem solving. 4. The annual final grade is determined by the classification obtained, in part, on the frequency held at the end of the semester. This assessment represents 60% of the total evaluation, and the remaining 40% obtained through theoretical-practical work presented throughout the semester. 5. For a student to successfully pass the course, must get cumulatively the following conditions: I) Make the frequency and obtain a minimum of 9.5 II) have the requisite number (two thirds) attendance in practical classes; III) To participate successfully (value greater than or equal to 10) in the oral presentations of theoretical and practical work.