"get up and get active"
The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the alarm over what is termed the growing global sedentary lifestyle among young adults and children. In a new report the WHO and The United Nations (UN) have expressed concern that less and less young people are active around the world.
The WHO and the UN have highlighted 10 facts and benefits of regular physical activity:
Physical activity reduces the risk of diseases such as CHD, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, some cancers and depression.
Regular physical activity helps to maintain a healthy body. Those who are physically active have improved muscular strength and endurance, improved cardiovascular and respiratory fitness and improved bone and functional health.
Physical activity is not the same as sport. Physical activity is defined as any body movement by the skeletal muscles that uses energy. This could include playing, walking, dancing, gardening and household chores.
Moderate and vigorous intensity activity brings benefits. Depending on an individuals level of fitness, moderate intensity could include brisk walking and vigorous activity could include running or cycling.
Those aged 5-17 years should do at least 60 mins of moderate to vigorous activity every day.
Those aged 18-64 should do at least 150 mins of moderately intense activity or at least 75 mins of vigorously intense activity throughout the week.
Those aged over 65 and above have the same recommendations as those aged 18-64 if possible or where older adults have limitations they should aim to be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow, with an additional three or more days a week of balance and fall prevention exercises.
All healthy adults need to be physically active including those with disabilities unless specific medical conditions indicate the contrary.
Some activity is better than none. Inactive people should begin with small amounts of activity and gradually increase duration, intensity and frequency over time.
Supportive environments and communities help people to be physically active. Governments around the globe should put in place policies that encourage walking and cycling, making sure green spaces are protected and are free and accessible to all. Schools and colleges should ensure there are areas for sport and recreation.
NOTE: Pregnant women, postpartum women, persons with cardiac conditions and other medical conditions should seek medical advice before striving to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity.