Sur­vey re­veals sorry state of Kiwi fit­ness

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Auck­lan­ders have been deemed the least ac­tive peo­ple in the na­tion.

A sur­vey of 2000 peo­ple by South­ern Cross Health So­ci­ety re­leased this month shows New Zealan­ders are po­larised by their ex­er­cise habits.

It found that more than 25 per cent of Ki­wis ex­er­cise less than once a week, or not at all.

At the other end of the scale, 24 per cent of peo­ple say they ex­er­cise at least once a day.

Dunedin was found to be the coun­try’s most ac­tive city with 47 per cent of res­i­dents say­ing they ex­er­cise more than four times a week.

Only 30 per cent of Auck­lan­ders un­der­take the same amount of ex­er­cise, see­ing the re­gion lag be­hind the rest of the na­tion.

Forty-five per cent of Auck­lan­ders ad­mit­ted that they ex­er­cised less than once a week, more than the na­tion­wide to­tal of 40 per cent.

South­ern Cross chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Ty­nan says although there are some pos­i­tive re­sults the high num­ber of in­ac­tive peo­ple was a huge worry for the coun­try.

‘‘Reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can help to re­duce the risk of chronic con­di­tions such as car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, can­cers, obe­sity and di­a­betes,’’ Mr Ty­nan says.

‘‘Pre­ven­ta­tive ac­tion through ex­er­cise can help to save lives and tax dol­lars.’’

Min­istry of Health guide­lines rec­om­mend adults should do at least 30 min­utes of mod­er­ate in­ten­sity phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity at least five days a week.

Mr Ty­nan says that com­monly cited bar­ri­ers such as con­ve­nience, time and ex­pense can be worked around.

‘‘There’s a mis­con­cep­tion that ex­er­cise equals an hour at the gym.

‘‘While that’s great if you can, just get­ting up at lunchtime and go­ing for a brisk walk or run­ning around at the park with the kids will have you near­ing the rec­om­mended ac­tiv­ity tar­get,’’ he says.

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