Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for 60% of global deaths and affect people of all ages, and  socioeconomic backgrounds. 1 

Most cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cerebrovascular attacks (CVAs), diabetes, cancers, autoimmune  diseases, neurological disorders such as Parkinsons disease and Alzheimer’s disease, skeletal disorders such  as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, chronic kidney disease, cataracts, and other conditions and diseases fall  into this category. Approximately 80% of these NCD-related deaths occur in low- to middle-income  countries.2 

Exercise plays a major role in NCDs; however, popular and cost-effective aerobic modes of exercise, such as  walking, and other strengthening activities fail to meet minimum intensity guidelines for health  improvement. Interestingly, traditional resistance training, and strengthening activities using weight  machines is effective in improving several health parameters related to NCDs. 3 

Benefits of strength training  

Physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and undertaken to improve or maintain aspects of  physical fitness is referred to as exercise. Physical activity is a structured activity that is further classified  (transport/work/leisure) based on its purpose. 4 Strengthening activities can be used to prevent, manage,  and treat many leading NCDs and risk factors.8 The primary goal of strengthen activity, and physical activity  is to improve the health capacity. 4  

Strengthening activities has been linked to a lower risk of CVD and other non-communicable diseases (NCD).  According to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, regular moderate-to-vigorous intensity  aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking, cycling, sports, and planned exercise, and strengthening activities lowers the risk of CVD, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and all-cause mortality. 5 

Physical activity is essential for energy balance and weight control. Approximately 81% of school-aged  adolescents and 23% of adults worldwide do not get enough physical activity. Girls and women are less 

physically active than boys and men in general, and older adults are less physically active than younger  adults. 10 

Resistance/weight/strength training, can involve either the use of weight machines or the use of one’s body  weight (e.g., push-ups or sit-ups). Individuals may engage in these activities to improve skeletal muscle, strength, endurance, power, and mass for aesthetic reasons, sports performance, physical therapy, or overall  health (cardio-metabolic, musculoskeletal, functional, and mental health-related outcomes). 7  

Participating in muscle-strengthening activities was linked to a lower risk of all-cause mortality as well as  major NCDs such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), total cancer, diabetes, and lung cancer. However, the  effect of increased muscle-building activity on all-cause mortality. The combination of strength training and  aerobic exercise may further help reduce all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and overall cancer  mortality. 9 


Adults should get 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or 75-150  minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of intensities.  Adults are also encouraged to engage in muscle-strengthening activities that involve major muscle groups  at least twice a week. 6 


Muscle-strengthening exercise is independently associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2  diabetes, which exhibits a dose-response relationship. Adding muscle-strengthening exercises to your  aerobic exercise may provide additional benefits in preventing type 2 diabetes.9 Strengthen activities lead to  reduce the risk of CVD and other non-communicable diseases (NCD).5 


1 World Health Organization (WHO). The Global Burden of Disease: 2004. Geneva: World Health  Organization; 2008. 

2 World Health Organization. Non-communicable diseases. 2016, [cited 2016 Apr 05]. Available  from: 

3 Shaw, B.S. and Shaw, I., 2021. Resistance training as a countermeasure for key non-communicable  diseases in low-resource settings: A review. Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, 12(1). 

4 The Public Health Agency of Sweden. The public health agency of Sweden. Folkhälsomyndigheten  Myndigheten för folkhälsofrågor. Available from: agency-of-sweden/. Accessed September 2, 2020.  

5 Piercy KL, Troiano RP, Ballard RM, Carlson SA, Fulton JE, Galuska DA, et al. The physical activity guidelines  for Americans. JAMA. 2018;320:2020-8.

6 Bull FC, Al-Ansari SS, Biddle S, Borodulin K, Buman MP, Cardon G, et al. World Health Organization 2020  guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Br J Sports Med. 2020;54:1451–62. 

7 Bennie JA, Shakespear-Druery J, De Cocker K. Muscle-strengthening exercise epidemiology: a new  frontier in chronic disease prevention. Sports Medicine-Open. 2020;6:1–8. 

8 Cheema, B.S., Robergs, R.A. and Askew, C.D., 2014. Exercise physiologists emerge as allied healthcare  professionals in the era of non-communicable disease pandemics: a report from Australia, 2006–2012.  Sports Medicine, 44(7), pp.869-877.  

9 Momma, H., Kawakami, R., Honda, T. and Sawada, S.S., 2022. Muscle-strengthening activities are  associated with lower risk and mortality in major non-communicable diseases: a systematic review and  meta-analysis of cohort studies. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 10 World Health Organization. Physical activity. Available from: topics/physical-activity. Accessed April 11, 2020.

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