Every Kiwi adult should throw out the idea that if they are not throwing themselves into a sweat-drenching workout for
more than an hour it doesn’t count, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.
New Zealanders must get more physically active. He says an obesity epidemic is gripping the country which also has a
physical inactivity crisis, being the 13th worst in the world – and the worst for children with only 10 percent meeting
World Health Organisation guidelines.
Exercise may not be on the top of most people’s do list but the World Health Organisation (WHO) says it should be and it
is food for thought heading into the first day of 2021, he says.
Beddie is on the WHO working group looking at global health, activity and exercise which is meeting and discussing
issues next year.
“The WHO has recently updated its guidelines on physical activity and every New Zealander needs to exercise daily. At
the moment almost half Kiwi adults and four out of five young people don’t get enough aerobic exercise.
“That might not sound so bad, but a lack of physical activity can increase the odds of an early death by 20 to 30
“Almost every major disease from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes together with degenerative diseases such as
Alzheimers and Parkinson’s plus mental health issues like depression and anxiety all benefit from exercise.
“The latest WHO guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 to 150 minutes of
vigorous activity, or a combination of both.
“That many not sound much Although that might sound like a lot, if you break it down to how much exercise a day you
need, it works out to less than an hour.
“I agree with my colleagues at WHO that people should reach the weekly guidelines by accumulating activity each day but
it’s okay to miss a day.
“Exercising about round 300 minutes a week may offer additional benefits to those wanting to lose weight. Researchers
say that after 12 weeks, the amount of WHO-recommended exercise leads to a loss of notable body fat loss, for are
The WHO guidelines don’t just spell out the amount and intensity of exercise needed for optimal health; they recommend
the types of aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening exercises.
Beddie says scientists have known for a long time that there is a link between physical activity and better health.
Regular or daily physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
“Ongoing activity can improve a person’s brain health; help them better manage their weight; reduce their chances of
developing various diseases, including diabetes, some cancers, and cardiovascular disease; strengthen their muscles and
bones; and improve mental health.”