Physical Activity

Physical Activity

Physical activity is defined by the World Health Organization (2015) as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure, including activities undertaken while working, playing, carrying out household chores, travelling, and engaging in recreational pursuits. (WHO, 2015)

Regular physical activity has many benefits to health, including mental health and well-being. People who are physically active have up to a 50% reduced risk of developing major chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers and a 20-30% reduced risk of premature death. It has been estimated that the cost of physical inactivity to Wales is about £650 million per year. 

Physical Activity Guidelines

In July 2011 the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMO’s) published new physical activity guidelines in a joint CMO report Start Active, Stay Active.  The guidelines which replace the 5 x 30 message focus on being active every day, and over a week adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Specific guidelines are provided for different age groups – early years, children and young people, adults and older adults. (Start Active, Stay Active, 2011)

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