Physical activity is widely celebrated for its health benefits, and is a key strategy in improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders.

In addition to increasing physical fitness, physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, depression, and a number of cancers.

Benefits of being physically active

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Everyone needs to be active and eat well to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being physically active can reduce the risk, or improve outcomes of a number of health conditions. It can also increase quality of life and a sense of wellbeing.

Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles resulting in an expenditure of energy. This covers all types of activity including sport and recreation, occupational activities, gardening, housework, active transport (eg. walking to the shops, cycling to work or school) and structured exercise.

Key points:

  • Some activity is better than no activity.
  • Adults should be moderately active for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Children and young people 5-18 years should be moderately active for at least 60 minutes a day.
  • Do some vigorous activity for extra health benefits and fitness.
  • You can do shorter periods of activity over the day eg. 10 minutes three times a day.
  • Reduce sitting activities and screen time.
  • Aim to be active most days of the week.
  • Even small increases in physical activity can improve quality of life.
  • It's never too late to start.

For more information about physical activity, visit the Ministry of Health.

What we do

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Toi Te Ora Public Health supports strategies and initiatives that enhance active transport opportunities for our communities.  Commuting by using active transport is a way of incorporating physical activity into everyday life.  Active transport includes walking, cycling, using a scooter, skateboard, rollerskates or rollerblades.


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