Physical Activity

An active lifestyle is key to improving and maintaining health. Getting active will help to prevent and manage diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The good news is that starting to be more active may be easier than you think. Everyday activities such as housework and gardening all count towards your daily dose of physical activity.

It is recommended that we do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days each week (NICE March 2006). In order to prevent obesity some people will need to do 45-60 minutes 5 days per week. It is fine to break this down into smaller chunks throughout the day, e.g. 3 x 10 minutes.

The most important thing to bear in mind when planning to become more active is to make realistic goals. Take a look at you daily routine and try to find areas where you can make improvements. For example, finding a parking space furthest away from the supermarket entrance, taking the stairs instead of the lift, or taking a short walk at lunchtime.

Making these small healthy living changes can really make a difference to the way you feel, and increase your confidence to make further changes.

Ask your GP if there is an exercise referral scheme that you could join, and try to find out if there are any walking or cycling schemes in your local area.

How much activity do I need to do to burn 100 calories?

  • Snooker - 33 minutes
  • Cleaning the home - 25 minutes
  • Cycling - 25 minutes
  • Dancing - 28 minutes
  • Decorating - 33 minutes
  • Gardening - 28 minutes
  • Ironing - 50 minutes
  • Jogging - 12 minutes
  • Knitting - 67 minutes
  • Shopping - 25 minutes
  • Squash - 7 minutes
  • Climbing stairs - 9 minutes
  • Aerobics - 18 minutes
  • Badminton - 15 minutes
  • Swimming - 12 minutes
  • Typing - 50 minutes
  • Vacuum cleaning 22 minutes