28 December 2020
Regular physical activity improves cardio-pulmonary function and reduces the risk of developing many chronic diseases. It helps to maintain an optimum body weight and healthy bones, muscles and joints. Moreover, it helps to decrease bone loss and prevent osteoporosis in menopausal women. It also reduces stress, depression and anxiety and promotes psychological well-being.
Lack of physical activity is one of the major risk factors for obesity, heart diseases, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and some types of cancers.
Situation in Hong Kong
The Health Behaviour Survey 2018/19 revealed that 16.8% of community-dwelling persons aged 18 years or above had insufficient physical activity, with 18.3% for females and 15.2% for males.
Duration and intensity of physical activity for good health
For adults aged 18 and above, including those living with chronic conditions or disability, the World Health Organization recommends that:
- They should undertake regular physical activity.
- They should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity; or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity; or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week, for substantial health benefits.
- They should also do muscle-strengthening activities at moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these provide additional health benefits.
- For older adults aged 65 and above (including those living with chronic conditions or disability), as part of their weekly physical activity, they should also do varied multicomponent physical activity that emphasises functional balance and strength training at moderate or greater intensity, on 3 or more days a week, to enhance functional capacity and to prevent fails.
- They may increase moderate-intensity aerobic physical to more than 300 minutes; or do more than 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity; or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week for additional health benefits.
For more practical tips on physical activity, please visit the "Change for Health" website. To obtain more information on public sports facilities nearby, please visit the website of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.