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Physical Activity & Exercise; why we have to sit less & move more!

The problem with being physically inactive – a global health issue  potato

Physical INACTIVITY has become one of the most noteworthy public health issues globally1 and has been associated with increased risks for a host of chronic, non-communicable diseases, such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer, Heart disease, mental illnesses, etc. Over the past 30 – 40 years, changes in the ways we work, live and commute have all resulted in this modern-day health dilemma.  Statistics have shown that the average adult spends ≥ 50% of their day sitting down! Since physical activity is considered a modifiable risk factor in the acquirement of these non-communicable diseases (together with tobacco use, alcohol consumption, nutrition / diet, obesity, raised blood pressure, glucose levels and salt intake) the power is in our hands to change our risk!

The notion of “sit less, move more” has become the new buzz words amongst health care professionals and academics alike.

Some practical tips to increase your levels of physical activity, starting today, are:

  • taking the stairs instead of using the elevator or escalator at work, at the mall…
  • parking a bit further at your next trip to the mall, to walk an extra couple of meters
  • carrying grocery bags to your car (weight training) instead of using a trolley
  • walking the dog and planning other outdoor family activities
  • walking to the grocery store just around the corner instead of taking the car
  • gardening, raking the leaves

– interrupt prolonged sitting periods at work with regular breaks
– decrease total sitting time consciously, bit by bit on a daily basis
– deliberately start increasing physical activity time
(working towards ultimately achieving at least 30 minutes per day).

 

  1. World Health Organisation. Physical Activity. Available at: http://www.who.int/topics/physical_activity/en/ [accessed 4 July 2016]
  2. Physiopedia online course: Physical activity and exercise. 4 July – 15 August 2016. www.physiopedia.com/Physiotherapy,_Exercise_and_Physical_Activity_Course+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=za

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