Muscle-strengthening exercise epidemiology: a new frontier in chronic disease prevention

Bennie, Jason A. ORCID: and Shakespear-Druery, Jane and De Cocker, Katrien (2020) Muscle-strengthening exercise epidemiology: a new frontier in chronic disease prevention. Sports Medicine - Open, 6 (1):40. ISSN 2199-1170

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This current opinion provides an overview of the emerging discipline of muscle-strengthening exercise epidemiology. First, we define muscle-strengthening exercise, and discuss its recent addition into the global physical activity guidelines, which were historically mainly focused on aerobic physical activity (walking, running, cycling etc.). Second, we provide an overview of the current clinical and epidemiological evidence on the associations between muscle-strengthening exercise and health, showing a reduced mortality risk, and beneficial cardiometabolic, musculoskeletal, functional and mental health-related outcomes. Third, we describe the latest epidemiological research on the assessment, prevalence, trends and correlates of muscle-strengthening exercise. An overview of recent population estimates suggests that the proportion of adults meeting the current muscle-strengthening exercise guideline (10-30%; >= 2 sessions/week) is far lower than adults reporting meeting the aerobic exercise guideline (similar to 50%; >= 150 min/week). Fourth, we discuss the complexity of muscle-strengthening exercise promotion, highlighting the need for concurrent, coordinated, and multiple-level strategies to increase population-level uptake/adherence of this exercise modality. Last, we explore key research gaps and strategies that will advance the field of muscle-strengthening exercise epidemiology. Our objective is to provide a case for increased emphasis on the role of muscle-strengthening exercise for chronic disease prevention, and most importantly, stimulate more research in this currently understudied area of physical activity epidemiology.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2021 04:22
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2021 01:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: strength training, exercise, public health, health surveillance, physical activity
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420201 Behavioural epidemiology
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
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