Education for Healthy Lifestyles through Exercise Education in Italian Prisons


  • Ario Federici Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo,
  • Salvatore Gabriele D'Alessio Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo,
  • Vahid Shoaei Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo,
  • Alessandro Capriotti Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo,



Physical activity, inmates, Didactics, Lifestyle, Resocialization


Prison has a general preventive purpose that aims to highlight the negativity of the crime committed. Re-education is not a guaranteed outcome, as the outcome of an educational process never is, but rather a ‘bet’ that society makes with itself on a possible, but never certain outcome. With motor activity, typical sedentary diseases (obesity, malabsorption syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases) are prevented. The social value of sporting activity must also be associated with this, as it stimulates socialisation, team spirit, respect for and sharing of rules, and the stimulus and motivation to achieve positive goals while respecting others. In this study, conducted on inmates of Fossombrone prison, the aim was to investigate the possible correlations between the level of physical activity, body image and well-being, and the role that physical activity plays within prison institutions. However, the idea is confirmed that physical activity for prisoners is very important both from a psycho-physical and re-educational point of view because it allows them to move and vent stress, conveys important values, teaches commitment to achieve objectives, increases self-esteem and improves lifestyle by limiting the onset of frequent pathologies found in prison facilities.


American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. (1998). The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults. Medicine Science Sports Exercise, 30: 975-991.

Baillargeon, J., Black, S. A., Pulvino, J., & Dunn, K. (2000). The disease profile of Texas prison inmates. Annals of epidemiology, 10(2), 74–80.

Bernasconi, A. (1990). La sicurezza penitenziaria tra prassi amministrativa e controllo giurisdizionale. Indice penale, 147.

Cagnazzo, F., & Cagnazzo, C. (2009). In Valutazione antropometrica in clinica, riabilitazione e sport (pp. 3,55,66). Edi-ermes.

Casazza, B. A. (2012). Diagnosis and treatment of acute low back pain. American family physician, 85(4), 343–350.

Caspersen, C. J., Powell, K. E., & Christenson, G. M. (1985). Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public health reports 100(2), 126–131.

Costa, M., & Corazza, L. (2004). Psicologia della bellezza. Edizione Giunti.

Cuomo, C., Sarchiapone, M., Di Giannantonio, M., Mancini, M., & Roy, A. (2008). Aggression, Impulsivity, Personality Traits, and Childhood Trauma of Prisoners with Substance Abuse and Addiction. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 34: 339-345.

Di Gennaro, G., Bonomo, M., & Breda, R. (1991). Ordinamento penitenziario e misure alternative alla detenzione: commento alla l. 24 luglio 1975, n. 354 e successive modificazioni con riferimento al regolamento di esecuzione e alla giurisprudenza della Corte di Cassazione. Milano: Giuffrè.

Emilio, E. J. M.-L., Hita-Contreras, F., Jiménez-Lara, P. M., Latorre-Román, P., & Martínez-Amat, A. (2014). The association of flexibility, balance, and lumbar strength with balance ability: risk of falls in older adults. Journal of sports science & medicine, 13(2), 349–357.

Federici, A., & Federici, L. (2019). From Segregated Prison to a Re-education Place, the Silence of those Forgotten: between Utopia and Reality. Formazione & insegnamento, 17(2), 39-52.

Federici, A., & Testa, D. (2010). L’attività motoria nelle carceri Italiane. Armando editore.

Federici, A., Valentini, M., & Lucertini, F. (2015). Prison, physical activity and rehabilitation: role and pedagogic potential of ‘fair play’ promotion for sport activities in prison settings. Formazione & insegnamento.

Gonin, D. (1994). Il corpo incarcerato, Gruppo Abele. EGA-Edizioni Gruppo Abele.

Johnson, E. N., & Thomas, J. S. (2010). Effect of hamstring flexibility on hip and lumbar spine joint excursions during forward-reaching tasks in participants with and without low back pain. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 91(7), 1140–11.

Kim, J.-D., Hye-Won, O., Jung-Hyun, L., & Jun-Youl, C. (2013). The effect of inversion traction on pain sensation, lumbar flexibility and trunk muscles strength in patients with chronic low back pain. Isokinetics and Exercise Science, 21: 237–246.

Leone, G. (1983). Elementi di diritto e procedura penale V . Napoli: Jovene.

Macchi, C., Molino, R., & Cecchi, R. (2004). Attività motoria, Fitness e salute nell’adulto e nell’anziano. Nicodemo Maggiulli editore.

Mannocci, A., Mipatrini, D., D’Egidio, V., Rizzo, J., Meggiolaro, S., Firenze, A., . . . Masala, D. (2018). Health related quality of life and physical activity in prison: a multicenter observational study in Italy. European journal of public health, 28(3), 570–576.

Mayorga-Vega, D., Merino-Marban, R., & Viciana, J. (2014). Criterion-Related Validity of Sitand-Reach Tests for Estimating Hamstring and Lumbar Extensibility: a Meta-Analysis. Journal of sports science & medicine, 13(1), 1–14.

National Institutes of Health. (1998). Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: The Evidence Report. Obesity research, 6(Suppl 2), 51S–209S.

Norris, C. M. (1997). Flessibilità. Principi e pratica. Edizioni Mediterranee.

Pageau, F., Cornaz, C. D., Gothuey, I., Seaward, H., Wangmo, T., & Elger, B. S. (2021). Prison Unhealthy Lifestyle and Poor Mental Health of Older Persons-A Qualitative Study. Frontiers in psychiatry.

Papa, V., Tafuri, D., & Vaccarezza, M. (2021). Could Physical Activity Have any Role in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Prisoners? A Systematic Review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(5), 2307.

Pescatello, L. S., Arena, R., Riebe, D., Thompson, P. D., Kluwer, W., Lippincott, W., & Lippincott, W. (2014). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription 9th Ed. 2014. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, , 58(3), 328.

Piacentini, M. F. (2010). Fitness ricerca e pratica in continua evoluzione. Calzetti e Mariucci.

Ramsay, C., & De Angelis, D. (2012). Anatomia dello stretching. Come aumentare la flessibilità muscolare. Elika Editrice.

Roma, P., Pompili, M., Lester, D., Girardi, P., & Ferracuti, S. (2013). Incremental conditions of isolation as a predictor of suicide in prisoners. Forensic science international, 233(1-3), e1–e2.

Rosen, D. L., Schoenbach, V. J., & Wohl, D. A. (2008). All-cause and cause-specific mortality among men released from state prison 1980-2005. American journal of public health, 98(12), 2278–2284.

Sabol, W. J., Minton, T. D., & Harrison, P. M. (2007). Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Sallis, J. F., Haskell, W. L., Wood, P. D., Fortmann, S. P., Rogers, T., Blair, S. N., & Paffenbarger, R. S. (1985). Physical activity assessment methodology in the Five-City Project. American journal of epidemiology, 121(1), 91–106.

Solberg, P. A., Kvamme, N. H., Raastad, T., Ommundsen, Y., Tomten, S. E., Halvari, H., . . . Hallén, J. (2013). Effects of different types of exercise on muscle mass, strength, function and well-being in elderly. European Journal of Sport Science, 13, 112-125.

Stecchi, A. (2004). Biomeccanica degli esercizi fisici. Elika editrice.

Stunkard, A. J., Sørensen, T., & Schulsinger, F. (1983). Use of the Danish Adoption Register for the study of obesity and thinness. Res Publ Assoc Res Nerv Ment Dis., 60, 115-20.

WHO. (n.d.). WHO (Five) Well-Being Index (1998 version). Retrieved 02 03, 2022, from Psykiatri-regionh: