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Guidelines for Promoting Physical Activity



 Guidelines for Promoting Physical Activity
               Me Korikori Ka Ora

The Need to Encourage Movement
      • Physical activity or movement is good for
      • Any movement is better than none
      • It is easy to be more active and it is
         never too late to start

The following guidelines should assist you to give
the best advice on minimal levels of physical
activity for good health. They are not intended
for high-level fitness or sports training.

When advising people, it is important you
emphasise that for maximum benefit all the
guidelines are adhered to and should be backed
up by a healthy diet.
The Guidelines
These four statements summarise the
knowledge you need to impart when
encouraging movement.

1. View movement as an opportunity,
   not an inconvenience.
2. Be active every day in as many
   ways as possible.
3. Put together at least 30 minutes
   of moderate-intensity physical
   activity on most if not all days of
   the week.
4. If possible, add some vigorous
   exercise for extra health and
Guideline          No
                        1   MOVEMENT is an OPPORTUNITY, not an inconvenience.

                            Any form of movement of the body should be           Less movement, more health problems
                            viewed as an opportunity for improving health,       Labour-saving devices have become an important
                            rather than a time-wasting inconvenience.            part of everyday living. Unnecessary movement is
                            Movement has become minimal in modern                regarded as an inconvenience, to be avoided.
                            times.                                               This decrease in activity in today’s society has
        Slightly            Today’s technology means that less activity is       been associated with an increase in obesity and
                            required in our daily lives. Cars have reduced the   many other health problems.
          more              need for walking, machines carry out heavy work      That is why it makes good sense to promote
                            for us, and TVs, videos and computers keep us        change in our attitudes towards movement by
        is miles            inactive for long periods of time.                   explaining the benefits.
                            Even small amounts of movement or physical
         better             activity in the course of our days have been
                            greatly reduced. The effort required to change
                            the channel on TV has been eliminated by the
                            remote. Washing dishes and clothes by hand has
                            been replaced by the dishwasher and washing
                            machine. Even the need to move to
                            communicate has been reduced by the cordless
                            phone and email. These lifestyle changes have
                            happened gradually, almost unnoticed, as
                            technology has advanced. But our bodies were
                            designed to move - movement maintains good
Guideline           No
                         2   Be ACTIVE every day in as many ways as possible.

                             Promoting a change in habits to get bodies             • Reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes
                             moving, instead of relying on labour-saving            • Help you feel more confident, happy, relaxed
                             devices.                                                 and to sleep better
                             The health benefits of becoming more                   • Reduce the risk of dying prematurely
                             active                                                 Ways of increasing activity
         Take                The increase in effort-saving technology in            There are many ways to incorporate physical
                             modern society has coincided with increasingly         activity into busy lifestyles. Small increases in
      the stairs.            busy lifestyles. People not only have less need to     daily activity can come from small changes made
                             be active, but also seem to have less time. That       throughout the day. All these things can add to
         Shun                is why emphasising the need for more activity in       the level of daily physical activity. It is important
                             everyday life is essential to enhancing good           to remember that any activity is better than
        the lift             health.                                                none, and more is better than a little.
                             Recent research has shown that even the most           Everyday activities to increase
                             inactive people can gain health benefits if they       good health:
                             become just slightly more active. It is these
                                                                                    • Encourage the family to walk together
                             findings which have prompted governments
                                                                                    • Walk the dog
                             around the world to put increased physical
                                                                                    • Let the backyard or garden help you work up a
                             activity on the list of priorities for improving the
                             health of their populations.
                                                                                    • Take the stairs instead of the lift
                             The benefits of regular physical activity              • Wash the car by hand
                             include:                                               • Throw a ball
                             • Heaps more energy                                    • Collect shellfish, watercress
                             • Help control weight                                  • Walk rather than drive to the shops
                             • Reduce the risk of developing high blood             • Get off the bus or train early and walk
                               pressure                                             • Do things around the home by hand instead
                             • Help build and maintain healthy bones,                 of using machines
                               muscles and joints
Guideline           No
                         3   Put together at least 30 MINUTES of moderate-intensity physical ACTIVITY on most days.

                             It takes surprisingly little time to get enough      The 30 minutes total can be achieved through
                             activity into the average day - just 30 minutes of   one activity, or a combination of activities. It
                             moderate exercise on most days is enough to          does not need to be continuous. The activity can
                             receive health benefits. This can includes things    be broken down into short sessions of around 10
                             such as brisk walking or cycling.                    to 15 minutes to reach the 30-minute goal.

           Do                Moderate physical activity doesn’t have to           Combine activity with family, community or
                             be continuous                                        social life
          it in              Leading health authorities now recommend a           Advising people, young or old, that it is never too
                             minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity          late to start being active is important. People of
       bite-sized            physical activity on most days of the week - but     all ages and abilities can improve their health
                             it can be taken in bite-sized chunks such as 10      and wellbeing by undertaking some moderate-
        chunks               minutes. Thirty minutes is all it takes to receive   intensity physical activity, and it is a great way of
                             health benefits, such as improvements in blood       spending time with family and friends.
                             pressure, blood cholesterol and body weight. The
                                                                                  Practical tips to adopt for staying active:
                             great news about being physically active is that
                                                                                  • Choose enjoyable activities. These activities
                             it doesn’t have to be strenuous or vigorous. Any
                                                                                    are more likely to be kept up.
                             movement people undertake can be beneficial.
                                                                                  • Vary the type of activity, to prevent boredom
                             Moderate-intensity activity will
                                                                                    setting in.
                             cause a slight, but noticeable,
                                                                                  • Set small realistic goals in the chosen activity.
                             increase in breathing and
                                                                                  • Plan for physical activity - there is more likely
                             heart-rate. A good example
                                                                                    to be commitment if activities are scheduled
                             of moderate-intensity
                                                                                    into everyday routines.
                             activity is brisk walking at
                                                                                  • Be active with friends or family. This way,
                             a pace where talking is
                                                                                    people can motivate and encourage one
                             comfortable but singing
                                                                                    another and have a social reason to persist.
                             is not (activities that are
                                                                                  • Reward yourself. A pat on the back is deserved
                             energetic, but do not leave
                                                                                    for a job well done.
                             you breathless).
Guideline        No
                      4   If possible, ADD some vigorous EXERCISE for extra health and fitness.

                          Vigorous exercise makes people ‘huff and puff’ -      rugby, soccer, netball and basketball, and
                          this is good. For best results, add a bit of vigour   activities such as aerobics, circuit training,
                          to Guidelines 1-3 on a minimum of three days a        power walking, jogging, fast cycling or brisk
                          week for 20 minutes or more each time. Children       rowing. For best results, this type of activity
                          and teenagers under the age of 18 should follow       should be carried out for a minimum of around
                          this guideline routinely.                             20 minutes on 3-4 days a week.
                          Vigorous activity and fitness gains                   Safety considerations
        & puff            Some people may want to be active in a more           Most adults do not have to visit their doctor
                          vigorous way. The purpose of this guideline is not    before commencing moderate-intensity physical
          for             to replace earlier recommendations of 30              activity. However, for people with chronic health
                          minutes a day, but to add an extra level for those    conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes), it is
         extra            who seek to do more.                                  advisable to consult a doctor before starting a
        energy            Greater health benefits can be achieved by            programme of physical activity. Because physical
                          increasing the amount (duration, frequency or         activity can help to improve some ailments, it is
                          intensity) of physical activity beyond those          advisable to talk to a doctor about how a
                          achieved through increasing daily movement or         particular medical condition can benefit from
                          regular moderate-intensity activity. These            increased levels of physical activity and the type
                          benefits include extra protection against heart       of activity that is appropriate.
                          disease, and improved performance in fitness          Undertaking vigorous activity means starting
                          and sport. Vigorous exercise has the added            slowly at a low level and building up gradually
                          advantage of calming and relaxing those who           over a number of weeks. This length of time will
                          do it.                                                vary depending on initial levels of fitness and
                          How hard is vigorous?                                 various health conditions. It is also important to
                                                                                consider from the outset what can be done to
                          ‘Vigorous’ implies activity that makes people
                                                                                reduce the risk of injury.
                          ‘huff and puff’, and where talking in full
                          sentences between breaths is difficult. Vigorous
                          exercise can come from active sports such as
There are many factors that help prevent sport and recreational injuries. These include paying attention to the right type
of food and fluid consumed, appropriate fitness and preparation, good technique, and regular warming-up, stretching
and cooling-down.
These factors are detailed in SportSmart - ACC’s injury prevention programme. For more information on the
10-point plan for avoiding sports injury visit
Physical activity and pregnancy
Moderate physical activity during pregnancy is safe and beneficial for most women. However, it is important to speak
with a doctor before embarking on a programme of vigorous physical activity during pregnancy.

                                               Nga hiahia Ki te tautoko Korikori

For more information on how to be more active phone 0800 ACTIVE 0800 228 483
Or check out our website
Push Play is supported by the Ministry of Health, National Heart Foundation of NZ, Local Government NZ, Agencies for Nutrition Action,
YMCA and sports trusts throughout New Zealand.
Push Play is based on the recommendations of the 1998 Ministerial Physical Activity Taskforce. The Hillary Commission is the public
funding agency that encourages all New Zealanders to enjoy healthy active lifestyles.
Hillary Commission programmes are supported by the NZ Lottery Grants Board.

Call 0800 ACTIVE
0800 228 483


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