Cantabrians not active enough

20:01, Jan 09 2013
Roscela Bolanos
ON THE GO: Bartender Roscela Bolanos, 20, says she wants to run off the extra Christmas kilos.

One in four Christchurch people exercises less than once a week or not at all, a new survey shows.

A survey of 2000 New Zealanders by the Southern Cross Health Society found 7 per cent of Christchurch respondents never exercised, while 17 per cent said they exercised less than once a week.

A further 11 per cent said they exercised only once a week, and 23 per cent said they exercised two or three times a week.

However, 42 per cent of Christchurch respondents undertook regular exercise, with 18 per cent saying they exercised four or five times a week, 17 per cent exercising once a day and 7 per cent exercising more than once a day.

The survey found people from Dunedin were the most frequent exercisers in the country, with 47 per cent saying they exercised at least four times each week.

Aucklanders were the least frequent exercisers, with 45 per cent exercising once a week or less.

Southern Cross Health Society chief executive Peter Tynan said the high number of inactive people around the country was a worry.

Regular physical activity could help reduce the risk of chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, obesity and diabetes, saving lives and tax dollars, he said.

The Ministry of Health recommended adults do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days a week.

Tynan said time, convenience and expense were commonly cited as barriers to exercise, but all could be overcome if the desire was there.

"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."

Exercise targets could also be done in three 10-minute bursts, rather than a 30-minute block, he said.


The Press