How much exercise?

New WHO guidelines on physical activity just released!


It seems that exercise is in fact medicine. Whats more, it’s possibly the cheapest form of medicine on the market! If Australian’s showed the same level of commitment and diligence in meeting the recommendations for physical activity as they did for actions like mask wearing and social distancing in the face of COVID-19, imagine the long-term health benefits and the economic savings!

Australians, on the whole, complied with requirements to don the uncomfortable, smothering masks and endure the pain of isolation, all in the name of preserving health and avoiding illness. Performing exercise on a regular basis, and reducing sedentary time has the same benefit of lowering the risk of illness and preserving health. So there’s every reason to comply!

The WHO just released their new findings and recommendations that guide us to long term good health and even longevity. Here are the details.

"Regular physical activity is a known protective factor for the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and breast and colon cancer. What's more, physical activity also has benefits for mental health such as reducing the risk and symptoms of depression, delaying the onset of dementia and helping with weight management and general feelings of wellbeing".

The main shift within the recommendations is the focus on decreasing sedentary behaviours. So, alongside increasing physical activity levels is decreasing sedentary time. Long periods of time spent sitting at work and during leisure time is detrimental to health.

It’s important to note that at first glance the numbers can look quite high and even overwhelming for some people. It’s easy to put it into the ‘too hard’ basket. So, it’s vital to understand that short bouts of exercise performed throughout the day in ‘intervals’ have an accumulative effect and will be equally beneficial to health.

Health Breaks encourages people in the workplace (or working from home) to take breaks of 2-10mins throughout the day to perform some form of exercise. This can involve a 5 min neck stretch routine, a 10 min interval circuit, a 5 min floor pilates session or some deep breathing while standing.

Remember, any level of activity is better than none. Walking, gardening, dancing and playing in the waves at the beach are all considered activity and will serve your mind and body well.

Here is a little circuit for you to enjoy – with compliments from Health Breaks!

WHO guidelines on physical activity and
sedentary behaviour. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2020.

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