Health and Wellbeing
Being more physically active can benefit you more than you may realise. Many of the leading causes of ill health could be prevented if people were to increase their overall levels of physical activity and move more.
Moving more and being more active is good for both your body and your mind - it can help prevent serious health problems and even help you sleep better.
People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type two diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.
Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. (Source: NHS, http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/whybeactive.aspx)
Around one in two women and a third of all men in England are damaging their health through a lack of physical activity, and the situation is costing an estimated £7.4bn a year.
The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity have produced a document summarising the best available evidence on health and wellbeing outcomes that are directly affected by physical activity.
How much physical activity should you be doing?
Current UK recommendations are that adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.
The Chief Medical Officer has released a number of guidelines on how much physical activity people should be doing, along with supporting documents:
- Early Years (Under 5's)
- Early Years (Under 5's capable of walking)
- Children and Young People (5-18 years)
- Adults (19-64 years)
- Older Adults (65+ years)