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Lack of exercise impacts New Zealanders’ health

Lack of exercise impacts New Zealanders’ health
October 2, 2018

Lack of exercise is putting pressure on the health of many New Zealanders according to Exercise Association of New Zealand (ExerciseNZ) Chief Executive Richard Beddie.

Having just returned from China and India where he viewed fitness trends and issues in those countries firsthand, Beddie cites a new World Health Organization (WHO) report that shows how lack of exercise is damaging the wellbeing of one in four people around the world.

Beddie explains “the WHO report suggests that more than a quarter of people worldwide are not doing enough physical exercise.

“We know many New Zealanders have problems with obesity and many others do not exercise regularly.

“It’s worrying because exercise is important, in many different ways, to our health. Exercise helps to maintain healthy bones, and exercise which gets you out of breath maintains a healthy cardiovascular system.

“We know structured exercise helps to keep your joints healthy, giving you a fighting chance of reduced back, hip and knee pain and that healthy muscles are crucial to living life well.”

Research from healthcare provider Bupa has found milestone birthdays spark people to overhaul their lifestyles, to try and be healthier.

Acknowledging this, Beddie advises “people don’t have to get out and train for a marathon straight off.

“Yoga or Pilates keeps joints flexible. Gyms and fitness facilities cater for every level and encourage people to get fitter.

“Also, research supports a link between social interaction and good health. Moderate exercise tends to be as good or better for longevity than vigorous activities such as running, which can take a toll on the body over time. Any exercise is better than none.”

Beddie says he found interesting comparisons of fitness while in India and China. India has less than 0.2% of its urban population exercising, the lowest in the world while China has 3% exercising, compared with 14% in New Zealand and 15% in Australia.

He cautions “at the same time, New Zealand is third in the world in obesity and we only have 10% of kids doing enough physical activity, one of the worst statistics in the world.”

ExerciseNZ recently has a survey conducted which found nearly 177,000 of the adult New Zealand population would definitely be keen to start structured exercise in the next 12 months.

Beddie concludes “our statistics showed the exercise industry as a whole will continue to grow strongly, while consumers continue to be prepared to move to other providers if their needs are not being met.

“So, what’s changing? Around 29% of people surveyed will be exercising at home in the next 12 months. That’s huge growth from 10 years ago.

“Overall, around 23% of Kiwis have some sort of membership to an exercise facility, and the vast majority of those are using it.

“It is also worth noting that awareness of the benefits of exercise increases with age, so there is still plenty of opportunity for those catering for different - non-traditional gym - markets.

“Female respondents definitely placed more importance on structured exercise than male respondents.”

The research report shows activity levels are climbing and will likely continue to do so. The number planning on starting exercise is almost six times the number likely to stop in the next 12 months.

Image: Richard Beddie.

Related Articles

1st October 2018 - ACC and ExerciseNZ combine to reduce gym accidents

27th September 2018 - iCREPs meeting sees coming together of international fitness registration bodies

5th September 2018 - World Health Organization advises that lack of exercise puts one in four people at risk

22nd August 2018 - Google Fit update incorporates World Health Organization activity goals

18th July 2018 - ExerciseNZ calls on Government to support physical activity

25th October 2016 - NZREPs highlights the real cost of physical inactivity

10th October 2015 - Rise in obesity hits United Nations goals on diet-related diseases

2nd September 2011 - Global governments must ‘get tough on obesity’

22nd May 2016 - China grapples with rise in childhood obesity

24th August 2012 - Obesity produces diabetes epidemic in India

13th April 2010 - One in three of the world’s children are couch potatoes

23rd March 2018 - New Zealand set for massive wellness sector growth


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