SSISA Marketing and Media Manager and Sports Scientist, Kathy Mc Quaide-Little, is currently attending the 2012 “Be Active” Congress in Sydney, Australia. The congress incorporates the Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport and the National Sports Injury Prevention Conference, under the banner of “be active 2012″.
Here are some insights Kathy gained on day one:
In the 70′s – the benefits of vigorous exercise were so evident from the 20-year Sans Francisco Longshoreman study and this study was one that greatly influenced physical activity recommendations at the time.
25 years later – research study findings made it clear that moderate-intensity physical activity could provide most of these health benefits, previously thought to be the exclusive domain of vigorous physical activity and physical activity recommendations changed.
More recently – physiologists and researchers are finding that with declining physical activity levels – recommendations for even light physical activity levels are advisable if this is all people are prepared to do.
Certainly moderate intensity exercise can provide additional benefits – but in the interest of having people at least do SOME activity – the benefits of light physical activity are receiving more attention.
Come 2012- there is now a massive move towards decreasing sedentary behaviour – since not only are people not doing enough physical activity – they are also stuck behind screens of all forms all day- and other sedentary behaviour which introduces even more health risks. How times have changed! 200 000 years ago – our primitive ancestors were doing the equivalent of 32km’s of walking a day… now we can’t even fit in 30 minutes or 3km of walking a day. We have had to lower the bar so much in terms of what physical activity we do whilst we are still encouraging people to accumulate 150mins of PA per week – we are also just trying to get sedentary people to stand up and walk a few steps every day.
Our bodies are designed to move and if we want to function optimally – we should be engaging in plenty of physical activity every day. Instead – our so-called technological advances are ensuring that in a sense – we are regressing and slowly “killing” ourselves….or at very least – reducing our potential. A sad state of affairs… let’s hope SA can start to tackle this global problem!