According to a Health Survey released yesterday by Stats Canada, Canadians are dangerously under active.
New international and proposed Canadian guidelines recommend that to obtain substantial health benefits, adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a week. According to new data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), 15% of Canadian adults attain this level of activity.
The guidelines also suggest that young people aged 5 to 17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. CHMS data indicated that 7% of young people attain this level of activity.
By gender, the guidelines for adults were achieved by 17% of men and 14% of women. The guidelines for young people were achieved by 9% of boys and 4% of girls.
Did you get that? Only 15% of adults get the daily recommended amount of exercise. And if you have kids start worrying, because only 7% of Canadian kids get the amount of recommended exercise.
Another thing to take note of … the amount of recommended exercise is NOT much. 150 minutes a WEEK (that’s only 22 minutes a day) for adults. And only 60 minutes a day for young people.
What happens when you are inactive?
- greater chance of illness and disease (i.e. heart disease, diabetes)
- greater levels of pain, for those suffering with chronic pain
- weight gain
- muscle loss
- fatigue, tiredness, sleeplessness
- etc. etc. etc. etc. all of the etc.’s being negative
What makes THIS study so important?
Stats Canada and other Health Agencies have been warning us about increasing levels of inactivity for years. THIS study has triggered major alarm bells because it is the first time actual activity has been measured. Up till now studies have relied on the participants estimating their own level of activity. It turns out that people think they do more than they actually do. In this study, participants wore an accelerometer during their waking hours for seven days. The accelerometer measured the amount of actual activity.
The monitors measured and recorded acceleration in all directions, thereby indicating the intensity of physical activity. Accelerometer signals were also translated into steps accumulated per minute.
So for the first time we have a study that measured reality instead of fantasy. I won’t speculate why it took so long … but I will ask …
Are you in the 15% of Canadians who are looking after their health, or is it time to get off that chair and DO SOMETHING?