We work towards increasing physical activity and improving the health and wellbeing of our communities. Our work focuses on improving our environments so they are encouraging and supportive of physical activity through:
- Physical activity policies
- Submissions and advocacy
- Public health programmes
- Professional development
Being physically active can help prevent and manage a wide range of health conditions and diseases, including:
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some cancers including breast and colon
- Overweight and obesity
New Zealand Physical Activity Guidelines
Physical activity can help people live longer, healthier lives. The Eating and Activity Guidelines outline the minimum levels of physical activity required to gain health benefits and ways to incorporate incidental physical activity into everyday life. The Ministry of Health has national population health guidelines on how physically active people should be at every stage of the life course outlined in these links below:
- Discourage screen time for under-two-year-olds and limit screen time to less than one hour every day for children aged two years or older – less is best.
- Provide at least three hours every day (for toddlers and pre-schoolers) fun activities, spread throughout the day.
- Provide the recommended amount of good quality sleep each day.
- Provide the recommended amount of good quality sleep each day, with consistent bed and wake-up times.
- Do at least 1 hour a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity (including activities that strengthen muscles and bones, at least 3 days a week).
- Watch no more than 2 hours per day of recreational screen time.
- Break up long periods of sitting.
- Do at least 2 ½ hours of moderate or 1 ¼ hours of vigorous physical activity spread throughout the week. For extra health benefits, double this.
- Muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
- Older adults (over 65) should also aim to do 3 sessions of flexibility and balance activities in addition to the adult guidelines.
Five ways to wellbeing
Physical activity is also one of the principal components for any programme for maintaining or improving mental health.
Do what you can – whāia te mea ka taea e koe, enjoy what you do – kia pārekareka tāu i whai ai, move your mood – kia pai ake ō piropiro.
- Try tai chi classes for strength, balance and mental wellbeing.
- Go swimming or join water walking groups at your local pool.
- Bring activity into the everyday e.g. don’t use the remote.
- Play tennis, try Nordic walking, join a gym or try another sport and meet people at the same time.
Physical activity can be play!
Physical activity can be fun and it doesn’t have to be an added extra on top of your already busy day. Why not give the following a go:
- Walk, cycle or scoot when you have a car trip that is shorter than 10 minutes.
- For longer trips, try driving part of the way then parking and walking a bit further then you usually would.
- Aim to bike or scoot the kids to school one day a week.
- Use public transport as this often involves some active transport to get to and from the bus stop or train station.
- Play outside with your children.
Great links from local councils