Family doctor


Personal And Social Issues

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - The Push Play Campaign


Getting more exercise is a key to better health. This article gives practical suggestions for becoming more active.

It takes surprisingly little time to get enough activity into your day. But one in three New Zealand adults is not active enough to be healthy. Inactive people are more likely to get sick. Or they just don't have the stamina to enjoy their lives.

Regular moderate physical activity will:

  • make you feel great
  • give you energy
  • help control weight
  • build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
  • help control asthma
  • reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • reduce the risk of high blood pressure
  • reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent diabetes
  • reduce feelings of depression/anxiety
  • reduce the risk of colon cancer

Snack on physical activity, feast on the benefits

  • physical activity is fun
  • it is easy to be active
  • physical activity is good for everyone
  • it's never too late to start being active
  • any activity is better than none
  • it doesn't have to be hard, to be good for you

It's so simple, but so good

You may already want to be more active. So it's simple to build physical activity into your daily routine:

  • take the stairs instead of the lift
  • walk to the shops rather than drive
  • get off the bus early and walk
  • park the car further away from the office and walk
  • when you walk, step out briskly
  • wash your car by hand
  • use chores around the garden to work up a sweat

"A 10 percent increase in the number of physically active adults would save around 300 lives each year - and five times this number could be saved if every adult was sufficiently active." Dr Dave Gerrard, Hillary Commission and NZ Sports Foundation.

"Just 30 minutes of physical activity taken regularly will benefit the health of everyone." US Surgeon General 1996.

How can the Hillary Commission help you?

Green Prescriptions

A Green Prescription is a GP's written advice for a patient to be more active as part of the Push Play message. Green Prescriptions is a Hillary Commission health initiative.

If your medical condition is stable ask your GP for a Green Prescription based on:

  • Frequency
  • Intensity
  • Type
  • Time

Push Play Campaign

Push Play is about getting New Zealanders off the sofa and into a more active life. The Hillary Commission's Push Play campaign is based on a medical fact that everyone can benefit from physical activity, even small amounts.

Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week will put bounce back into your life. You'll feel better and healthier. Three "doses" of ten minutes will work just as well.

How does Push Play work?

It's easy to Push Play and be more active. You do it where you live or work. You do it when you want to. And you do whatever you want to. Your regional sports trust or local council are running programmes and events aligned to Push Play.

Through them you could join a walking or cycling group, attend aquafitness classes or go line-dancing.

Call the freephone line 0800 ACTIVE (0800 228 483) and talk with the Active Living Coordinator from your regional sports trust. You won't regret it.

Push Play is based on the recommendations of the 1998 Ministerial Physical Activity Taskforce. The Hillary Commission is the public funding agency that improves quality of life by encouraging all New Zealanders to enjoy healthy, active lifestyles.

See also:

Did this article meet your requirements/expectations?