Physical activity contributes to wellbeing and is essential for good health. It reduces our risk of developing chronic conditions and helps to maintain good our physical and mental health. The Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines for physical activity recommend adults should undertake a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week; brisk walking is a great way for individuals to begin to achieve this.
People who do not move regularly or lead sedentary lifestyles (doing less than 30 minutes of activity a week) are increasing their risk of living with poor health. Even those who are meeting the recommended levels of physical activity but sit or are inactive for prolonged periods of time are increasing their chances of poor health. This suggests being active is not enough to promote good health but that we also need to ensure that we avoid being inactive throughout the day.
In Wales, 1.3 million people spend 60% of their waking time in work. In recent years, technological advancements have meant the modern workplace is somewhere that now encourages sitting for long periods. Hours spent sitting can cause employees to experience physical and mental health problems, which can lead to time off work, short-term disability, reduced productivity, increased costs, and overall disrupt the working environment.
It’s medically proven that there are a number of benefits to taking part in regular physical activity such as cycling, with benefits including:
- increased cardiovascular fitness.
- increased muscle strength and flexibility.
- improved joint mobility.
- decreased stress levels.
- improved posture and coordination.
- strengthened bones.
- decreased body fat levels.
- prevention or management of disease.
Following the success of the Offa’s Dyke Challenge, not the least being raising an amazing £6,830.37 for charity, I am excited to take on the next challenge. We are all familiar with the health and wellbeing benefits of increased physical activity and this year, I will be taking on this challenge with a few of my colleagues from the healthboard.
With obesity and mental health issues continuing to have an impact upon the health and wellbeing of our own staff as well as the population of Cardiff and Vale, I hope this will encourage many of you to get motivated in joining in, moving more and enjoying the many physical and mental benefits of physical activity .
– Len Richards, Cardiff and Vale UHB Chief Executive