There are many health problems affecting Americans today, although there are some which have attracted a lot of in recent years and are considered major health problems, which affect a huge number of Americans. Most of these health problems are linked to recent changes in society, like the activities and lifestyles of people. The major concern about these health problems is that they also lead to numerous other health problems. Many of the major health problems today are related to physical fitness and can be prevented and controlled by adhering to the standards of health and physical and fitness (WHO, 2010).
This paper will explore two of the major health problems in America today, viz. obesity and stress, the risk factors related to them, and also describe health-related physical fitness and Health fitness standards and physical fitness standards in America. Obesity The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has already declared obesity an epidemic, with obesity-related fatalities being above 300,000 per year. A third of all Americans are overweight, which has been linked to Americans’ unhealthy eating habits and poor physical fitness discipline (Sharma, 2010).
Obesity affects every organ in the human body, leading to gall-bladder disease and gallstones, gout, osteoarthritis, breathing problems like sleep apnea and asthma. Very high cholesterol levels in the blood can cause heart disease, are usually associated with being overweight, which can also contribute to chest pains arising from decrease in oxygen amounts to the heart, or angina and sudden strokes. Also, 8 out of ten type-2 diabetes cases are linked to obesity or being overweight. The risk of type-2 diabetes can be reduced by weight loss and physical exercise.
Also, increasing one’s physical activity can keep blood-sugar levels in check and lower the required quantity of diabetes medication (webmd. com, 2010). Gout is caused by large uric acid amounts in the blood, forming into crystal-like or solid masses that accumulate in the joints and is found more commonly in obese people. The more overweight one is, the greater the risk of developing gout. Also, there are several cancer-types associated with obesity, which also raises the risk of cancer-related deaths. In women, these include cancer of the uterus, gallbladder, cervix, ovary, breast, and colon.
Overweight men are at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. For some types of cancer, such as colon or breast, it is not clear whether the increased risk is due to the extra weight or to a high-fat, high-calorie diet (webmd. com, 2010). These are just some of obesity-related health problems. Stress According to a recent American Psychological Association (APA) national survey in 2007, a third of Americans lived with severe stress and almost 48% of Americans’ stress had increased over the past half-decade period.
Stress is said to contribute to poor relationships, low output at work, and many health problems, with money and work being the major leading causes of stress. Stress affects every part of Americans’ lives, for instance personal relationships, eating habits, sleep patterns, and overall health (MediLexicon, 2007). Stress has many physical as well as psychological symptoms. The physical symptoms include fatigue, headache, Stomach upset, muscle tension, increase or loss of appetite (overeating or eating unhealthy foods), teeth grinding, sex-drive changes, feeling of dizziness, loss of sleep etc.
Also, sometimes people engage in excessive drinking and smoking, leading to other unhealthy behaviors in high-stress periods. The psychological symptoms include anger or irritability, nervousness, lack of energy, etc. (MediLexicon, 2007). Health-related Physical Fitness Health-related physical fitness refers to the fitness components which are affected by routine physical activity and is related to an individual’s health status.
Physical characteristics constituting health-related physical fitness are strength and skeletal-muscle endurance, body composition, joint flexibility, and cardio-respiratory endurance, all of which change in response to appropriate programs of physical conditioning. In other words, this state is characterized by a person’s ability to carry out and maintain daily activities and demonstrate traits associated with low risk of premature development of movement-related conditions and diseases.
These include aerobic functioning, body composition, as well as musculoskeletal functioning. Health-related fitness includes cardiovascular efficiency, where one is expected to continue with body exercise for long periods without excessive fatigue; muscular strength, where one is supposed to be able to have muscles that can exert force; muscular endurance, where one is expected to be able to exert force for long; flexibility; body composition, which involves one having the right amount of body fat (NKU, 2010). Health Fitness Standards and Physical Fitness Standards
Health fitness standards and Physical Fitness Standards are stipulations that have to be met in order to achieve and also maintain a lifestyle of both physical activeness and healthiness. These standards cover all aspects of health like physical, emotional, social, and mental. There are various conditions or targets that have to be met in various fields like academic, the military and law-enforcement agencies. Those who attain these standards impact not only have a favorable impact on their own lives, but also on the lives of people around them.
For instance, in the military and law enforcement agencies, professionals must be able to jump, run and be fit enough to support their own body weights. These standards also include eating fully balanced, healthy diets daily to meet the required targets for health and physical fitness (NKU, 2010). References MediLexicon. (2007). Stress A Major Health Problem in the U. S. , Warns APA: Retrieved 14 Jul. 2010 from <http://www. medicalnewstoday. com/articles/86804. php> NKU. (2010). Health-related Physical Fitness. Retrieved 14 Jul. 2010 from <http://www. nku.
edu/~ryanc/healthfit/sld001. htm> Obesity – Major Health Problem in United States. Retrieved 14 Jul. 2010 from <http://ezinearticles. com/? Obesity—Major-Health-Problem-in-United-States&id=108157> Sharma, M. (2010). Weight Loss: Health Risks Associated With Obesity. Retrieved 14 Jul. 2010 from <http://www. webmd. com/cholesterol-management/obesity-health-risks> WHO. (2010). Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health: Obesity and overweight – Facts. Retrieved 14 Jul. 2010 from <http://www. who. int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/facts/obesity/en/>