KONTAN.CO.ID – GENEVA. Up to 5 million deaths a year could be prevented if the world’s population was willing to move more actively.
At a time when many people are tied at home because of COVID-19, the WHO is launching new physical activity guidelines that were launched today (26/11). The new guidelines for physical activity from WHO emphasize that everyone, of all ages and abilities, can be physically active and every type of movement counts.
The new WHO guidelines recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week for all adults, including people living with chronic conditions or disabilities. As for children and adolescents, WHO recommends an average of 60 minutes per day.
In comparison, current WHO statistics show that 1 in 4 adults, and 4 in 5 adolescents, are not doing enough physical activity.
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Globally, disease consequences are estimated to cost US $ 54 billion in direct health care and another US $ 14 billion in lost productivity.
Regular physical activity is key to preventing and helping to manage heart disease, type-2 diabetes and cancer. Apart from that, regular physical activity reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduces cognitive decline, improves memory, and improves brain health.
WHO also encourages women to maintain regular physical activity during pregnancy and postpartum. They also highlight the valuable health benefits of physical activity for persons with disabilities.
Older adults (aged 65 and over) are advised to add activities that emphasize balance and coordination, as well as muscle strengthening, to help prevent falls and improve health.
“Being physically active is very important for health and well-being – it can help add years to life and life to years,” said WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Every step counts, especially now that we are tackling the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. We all have to move on every day – safely and creatively. ”
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All physical activity is beneficial and can be done as part of work, sport, recreation, or transportation (walking, wheeling and cycling). Physical activity can also be carried out through dancing, games, and daily household chores, such as gardening and cleaning.
“Physical activity of any kind, and of any duration can improve health and well-being, but more is always better,” said Dr. Ruediger Krech, Director of Health Promotion, World Health Organization.
“And if you have to spend a lot of time sitting still, whether at work or school, you have to do more physical activity to counter the harmful effects of sedentary behavior.
“These new guidelines highlight how important it is to be active for our hearts, bodies and minds, and how beneficial results benefit everyone, of all ages and abilities”, said Dr. Fiona Bull, Head of the Physical Activity Unit who led the development of the new WHO guideline.
WHO encourages countries to adopt global guidelines to develop national health policies that support the WHO Global action plan on physical activity 2018-2030.
The plan was approved by global health leaders at the 71stWorld Health Assembly in 2018 to reduce physical inactivity by 15% by 2030.