Our primary goal at our Newmarket physiotherapy clinic is to keep you moving. But according to research carried out by the University of California San Francisco, we might all need to do more moving than previously thought.
Exercise NZ recommends that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week to maintain a good level of heart health. They define moderate exercise as a “brisk walk” and it’s fair to say that a good number of Kiwis would do that amount of exercise each week – but we must also acknowledge that just as many New Zealanders live sedentary lifestyles and would struggle to reach that 150-minute mark.
However, the study done by the University of California San Francisco suggests that even active Kiwis need to be much more active. The researchers said that the amount of moderate exercise people actually require in a week to prevent high blood pressure — which is commonly seen as a key indicator of overall health — is so much more than the recommended guidelines suggested by governments all over the world. They found that the amount of exercise required, particularly in young adulthood, should be closer to 300 minutes a week than the universally accepted 150 minutes.
Some simple maths will tell you that 300 minutes equates to five hours of moderate exercise, and that includes walking, workouts and domestic activities like gardening. To reach those figures, researchers gathered and analysed information from a sample of 5115 adults taking part in a long-term study. That’s an impressive sample and adds substantial weight to their findings.
The team behind the study found that only those participants who did around 300 minutes of physical activity every week avoided hypertension. It’s quite a revealing finding and could change our thinking about how much exercise we really need. If the findings are proven to be correct, then it’s obvious that government guidelines are nowhere near enough and adults need to exercise more, especially in early adulthood. According to the study results, a significant number of adults who did less exercise in their younger years would likely develop high blood pressure later in life.
Whether 300 minutes is the magic number, or if 150 minutes is still the gold standard, the team at Cairnhill Physiotherapy believes that we all need to keep moving. Whether it’s walking, working out, or doing plenty of stuff around the house, physical activity is good for us, both mentally and physically. So every opportunity you have to get off the sofa and do something active is one you should grasp with both hands.