Every now and then we hear recomendations about physical activity, walking, exercising or just the need of being active. Now a days that we have been unwillingly condemned to a desk, these numbers and specific recommendations shouldn’t be given for granted. Back in the 1800’s people where not used to computers, tv’s, ipads, iphones and all this gadgets that magically seem to consume our minutes as live passes by.
So yeah, by that time worrying about physical activity wasn’t much of a deal, people just met their daily requirement because life involved walking to work, moving around in workplaces, meeting up with people somewhere different than the office, buying food and other needs at local markets, and non of this included the internet for online shopping, or virtual meetings.
Today, we don’t only spend the average 8 hours of work sitting on a desk, but we leave the office to sit in a car or any other method of transportation, to arrive home and sit at our desk just to keep surfing the web or head to the couch to watch tv. If you add the hours you might find out that you are moving an average of 15 minutes in a day, and by moving I mean using your legs (not the car, the elevator, the electric stairs, etc)
YES 15 MINUTES! and this number comes from the average of my patients which some assure they move A LOT on a daily basis because they don’t have a permanente desk job. What they sometimes ignore is that moving from one place to the other hasn’t involved walking.
According to the World Health Organization*1:
- Children and youth aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
- Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
- For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
- Adults should do Muscle-strengthening activities involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
- Older adults (65 or older) should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
You might be asking yourself where the hell can you put in 150-300 minutes of physical activity. I can just tell you…the more you make time for YOUR wellness, the more time you will have to LIVE LIFE. And yes, 150 minutes a week is just 21 minutes a day for 7 days, or only 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. You can do an activity yourself, try recording EVERYTHING you do for a day or two, including hours and duration, and you might be shocked when you find out how long, out of the 24 hours, you remain in sedentary activities.
NOTE: If you’ve been sitting all day, it’s time to stand up and walk!
*1 WHO. Global Recommendations on Physical activity for Health. http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_recommendations/en/