Physical Activity Recommendations

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, for adults.

Christmas-Walking-Challenge

 

Guidelines for Adults

• All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.

• For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

• For additional and more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorousintensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorousintensity activity. Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond this amount.

• Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.

Guidelines for Children and Adolescents

• Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity daily. Aerobic: Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.

• Muscle-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week. • Bone-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.

• It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.

 

Depression can be prevented by exercise

One hour of exercise a week cuts your risk of depression thanks to ‘feel-good’ endorphins in the brain

Exercise and Happiness
Researchers from the Black Dog Institute in Randwick, Australia, analyzed more than 30,000 people on their mental health and the amount they exercised.
They found 12% of cases of depression could’ve been prevented by exercise.
Exercising helps to release endorphins and natural chemicals in the brain to promote relaxation and lessen negative emotions.
With sedentary behavior rising, experts warn it could impact mental health.

Researchers studied more than 30,000 people and found that 12 percent of cases of depression could have been prevented through exercise because of the ‘feel-good’ endorphins that are released into the brain.

These endorphins help lessen negative emotions and relax the person who is exercising.

More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression and that number is only anticipated to grow as sedentary behavior rises.

The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, recommends for health experts to use this information to alter their treatment options for people with depression.

Source: Daily Mail 

World Health Organization global action plan to promote physical activity

World Health Organization launched this month the consultation on the draft global action plan to promote physical activity. The development of this action plan represents unprecedented high-level support for the physical activity agenda and reflects the advancement in science as well as the effective advocacy efforts of many NGOs and civil society.

Physical Activity

The over-arching goal of the strategy is to get one hundred million people more active by 2030.

To achieve this goal, the draft action plan is structured into four key areas for action:

  1. Creating an active society, aims to create societies with positive attitudes and values towards physical activity, through increasing knowledge and awareness among the public and professionals.
  2. Creating active environments, aims to create safe places and spaces for people to be physically active.
  3. Creating active lives is the third action and this centres on the provision of opportunities for physical activity; for example through community based programmes.
  4. Creating active systems which calls for more coordinated systems and policies as well as monitoring and accountability.

The consultation on the draft action plan is open until 22nd September 2017.

Smartphones can deliver new insights about key health behaviours

Stanford University researchers, in a large-scale study funded by the National Institutes of Health, report that they have tracked the physical activity by population in more than 100 countries, using daily step data from participants’ smartphones.

Physical Activity Tracking

 

Results from the study, published recently in Nature, reveal targets for obesity prevention and the wisdom of walkable communities.

Globally, the average user recorded about 5,000 steps per day. The smartphone data reflected the degree of difference, or inequality, for activity among people within a given country. By comparing countries with more uniform activity patterns and those with unequal activity, certain patterns and health dynamics emerged. For instance, countries with the greatest activity inequality are also the countries with the greatest obesity problem.

They studied a dataset consisting of 68 million days of physical activity for 717,527 people, giving them a window into activity in 111 countries across the globe. The researchers found inequality in how activity is distributed within countries and that this inequality is a better predictor of obesity prevalence in the population than average activity volume. Reduced activity in females contributes to a large portion of the observed activity inequality. Aspects of the built environment, such as the walkability of a city, are associated with a smaller gender gap in activity and lower activity inequality. In more walkable cities, activity is greater throughout the day and throughout the week, across age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) groups, with the greatest increases in activity found for females. The findings have implications for global public health policy and urban planning and highlight the role of activity inequality and the built environment in improving physical activity and health.

Physical Activity across de world (Source: Nature)

Physical Inactivity

This study presents a new paradigm for population activity studies by demonstrating that smartphones can deliver new insights about key health behaviours.

Access to Nature article.

20 Ways to Add Physical Activity to Your Day

The Employee Wellness team at the University of Vermont Medical Center has launched ONE SMALL THING Program to promote a healthy lifestyle.

One Small Thing - Physical Activity & Nutrition Program

They suggest 20 ways to add physical activity to your day.

  1. Here’s an activity that’s always right at your fingertips — or should we say, toe-tips? Walking. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes. Choose a favorite place to walk, or grab a co-worker and go for a walk around the office.
  2. Take the “long cut” instead of a short cut. A long cut means creating a longer walking route to your destinations so you can build in more time in your day to move.
  3. Find some exercises you can do during a TV commercial break. You can stretch, do lunges, or even try some sit-ups.
  4. If you work in an office, you can still stay active. Stand up instead of sitting down. Stretch throughout the day. And take the stairs when you can. Set an alarm a couple of times a day to remind yourself to move.
  5. Concerned that adding more physical activity to your life might come at your family’s expense? Be active WITH your family. Play catch together. Go for a walk. Shoot hoops.
  6. Next time you and a significant other are getting away for the evening, try dinner and a walk instead of dinner and a movie. It’s a great time to connect while you generate some energizing movement.
  7. Parking your car 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 of a mile away from your job or an appointment can add a lot of convenient walking into your daily routine. Experiment with this idea and see how it works for you.
  8. Be intentional! Whatever activity you enjoy, schedule it on your computer or smartphone with a calendar alert that reminds you to get up and move.
  9. Parents who drop their kids at soccer practice can squeeze activity into their schedule naturally. Go for a run around your child’s field as you wait. Walk up and down the bleachers. You deserve to move, too!
  10. Got a meeting at the office? Take your colleagues for a walk. If you need to take notes, use the recording app on your smartphone and you won’t forget anything.
  11. Whenever you need a boost of energy, close the door, turn up the music, and crank up your heart rate by dancing.
  12. Sometimes, you need to fill your lungs with fresh air. So give yourself the gift of getting outside — to a park, on a wooded trail, or just outside the building where you work. Even 2-10 minutes will do wonders.
  13. Chores don’t have to just be chores. Vacuuming the house, mowing the lawn, and washing the car all count as great physical activities that you can add to your life and add life to your day!
  14. Giving your dog the exercise he needs can help you get a boost of energizing activity. So get the leash and head out the door.
  15. Got a minute? Set a timer and do a high-energy activity you like — jumping rope, doing lunges, running in place. Scientific studies show that 60 seconds of strenuous exertion prove to be as successful at improving health and fitness as 45 minutes of moderate exercise.
  16. Remember having fun in little league? Team sports aren’t just for kids. Call up friends and get a game going. Get on a team. Maybe even join a quidditch league, unless you’re a muggle.
  17. When it’s time for a call, get off the sofa or out of your chair. Stand or walk around your house or office as you talk.
  18. Not every physical activity has to elevate your heartbeat. So stroll around the neighborhood after dinner instead of sitting on the sofa. It’s a great transition to the rest of your night.
  19. Go to the playground with your family. The swings and the monkey bars are just some of ways we used to get exercise as kids…and they still count as adults.
  20. Research shows that sitting for a long time may be bad for your health. So take any activity you’d normally do sitting down — a meeting, watching TV, sitting in the bleachers — and stand up. Even just standing counts toward better health.

See the video: http://bfpne.ws/2rMDXCz

Acces the Program: https://justonesmallthing.org/

Physical Inactivity in UK

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has compiled this report using the latest health statistics to provide a comprehensive overview of levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in adults across the UK. The data in this report suggests that large numbers of people in the UK are still failing to meet recommendations for physical activity, putting them at greater risk of heart and circulatory disease.

fat

Around 20 million adults in the UK are physically inactive.

Physical inactivity is a global health crisis, responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths worldwide.

The impact of physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles also weighs heavily on UK healthcare, estimated to cost
as much as £1.2 billion a year.

Physical Inactivity UK

RunnerSquare encourages and promotes Physical Activity. We strongly  believe future of healthcare is based on prevention, not on pills. Physical Activity is key. We invite you to join us by choosing any of the montly Physical Activity Challenges we suggest you.

How To Launch A Corporate Wellness Program That Works

Forbes Magazine recently published an interesting article on How To Launch a Corporate Wellness Program that Works inspired on a recently published Harvard Business Review article

We, at RunnerSquare Corporate Wellness Division have been working now from more than two years implementing our Corporate Wellness Solution to support Corporate Wellnes Programs, as a digital hub and communication tool where both companies and employees work on the Wellness Programs together.

Corporate Wellness - Mindfullness

From the Forbes (original Harvard Business Review) article, we are fully agree but wanted to highlight how important is internal marketing and communication strategy supporting it.

If you’re going to invest in a corporate wellness program, you obviously need to get something out of it. One mistake you’ll often see is that organizations spend a lot of time developing a program and then do a poor job of building excitement and engagement.

 Forbes article describe some strategies you can implement to ensure this doesn’t happen:
  • Apply marketing principles. In the beginning stages, you need to treat your program like you would treat a product you’re selling. Marketing will go a long way towards increasing visibility and driving participation. Make sure you’re developing and circulating materials in the workplace. Putting up flyers in the break room is one practical suggestion, as is mentioning new developments in a weekly internal email newsletter.
  • Focus on benefits over features. After spending time developing a corporate wellness program, it’s easy to get caught up in the various elements of the program itself – such as health screenings, workout plans, etc. – but be careful not to only focus on the features. In order to encourage buy-in, you need to focus on the benefits. What do employees have to gain from participating?
  • Develop an incentive plan. Some employees will participate because they’re interested in being healthy, while others will need a little more coaxing. For this latter group, a targeted incentive plan is a great idea.

If the launch goes well, then you can feel better about the long-term sustainability of the program.

Source: Forbes & Harvard Business Review

Physical Activity Almanac Released

Late last year the Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA), a council of the International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH), released its first Physical Activity Almanac.  The document summarizes physical activity indicators including surveillance, policy, research, and deaths due to physical inactivity through a set of 139 graphical Country Cards.  The full document can be accessed here.

According to this data, in USA 10.8% of all deaths are due to inactivity.

Physical Activity Almanac

 

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention provide complementary data:

More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity. [Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief PDF-704KB]

Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. [Read guidelines]

The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.