Increased physical activity has been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular and respiratory health, insulin sensitivity, bone and muscle strength, and cognitive function. In addition, physical activity is associated with reductions in coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and depression. For most health outcomes, benefits increase as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency or longer duration, although the magnitude of these benefits diminishes with advancing age. The NIH Common Fund is exploring strategies to help the research community develop a more integrative perspective on the molecular and cellular mechanisms through which physical activity improves multiple health outcomes.
The NIH is committed to understanding the needs of the research community and supporting high-impact research. To that end, we encourage visionary ideas that will advance the field’s understanding of the mechanisms by which physical activity contributes to health. Please go to this Request for Information to submit comments on this topic. Comments are being accepted through December 31, 2013.