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Exercise and Activity

Good for your waistline, mood and sleep cycles. Find out more about being active.

Globally 1 in 4 of us are not getting enough activity. Being regularly active not only helps to maintain a healthy weight, it can help to improve our mood, sleep, heart and lung health and reduce our risk of disease. Exercises that help to build strength and balance can help to reduce risks of slips, trips and falls at home and in the workplace as well.

Lack of activity is a top risk factor for preventable death and disease

How much activity do I need?

For healthy adults, World Health Organisation recommends at least:

  • 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of moderate physical activity (e.g. walking, gentle cycling, swimming) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (e.g. skipping, fast cycling, running, team sports
  • Include muscle-strengthening activities for major muscle groups at least twice a week (e.g. yoga, carrying heavy loads, sit ups, push ups, activities that involve squats).

Globally, men tend to be more active than women with 27% of women having insufficient activity compared to 20% of men.

Did you know the standard daily calorie recommendations are for regularly active adults

What counts?

Fitting exercise and activity into an already busy day is not easy – especially with the development of technology it’s easier to sit still, whether at home or when travelling, than before.
But activity can be built into a daily routine without the need for a gym and remember - the recommended 150 minutes does not need to be done all at once. 10-minute bouts of activity that raise the heart rate all count and can quickly add up to the 150 minutes a week.

Moderate Activity: activity that increase your heart rate and breathing, e.g. walking, climbing stairs, hoovering, cleaning, gentle cycling, gardening

Vigorous Activity: activity that usually results in sweating and being out of breath, e.g. skipping, fast cycling, running, team sports