Regular physical activity improves cardio-pulmonary function and reduces the risk of developing many chronic diseases. It helps to maintain an optimum body weight and healthy bones, muscles and joints. Moreover, it helps to decrease bone loss and prevent osteoporosis in menopausal women. It also reduces stress, depression and anxiety and promotes psychological well-being.
Lack of exercise is one of the major risk factors for heart diseases, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, some types of cancers and obesity.
Situation in Hong Kong
Most people in Hong Kong adopt sedentary life style. The Behavioural Risk Factor Survey conducted in April 2010 revealed that over half (54.6%) of adult aged 18 - 64 had not done any moderate physical activity for at least 10 minutes at a time and only less than two-fifths (38.4%) had done some vigorous physical activity during the week before enumeration.
Duration and intensity of physical activity for good health
Physical activity need not be strenuous to be beneficial. 30 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity a day on at least 5 days a week is good enough to provide health benefits and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. You may not need to do it in one single session but divide the 30-minute physical activity time into three 10-minute sessions.
For more practical tips on physical activity, please visit the Centre for Health Protection website of the Health Zone. To obtain more information on public sports facilities nearby, please visit the website of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
Source Information: Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, HKSAR.