Physical inactivity is recognised as the fourth leading cause of mortality worldwide. Regular participation in physical activity has been proven to reduce premature death and the incidence of disease as well as providing positive benefits for mental health, quality of life and wellbeing (WHO, 2010).
Physical activity has a key role to help reduce health and social inequalities. Promoting and increasing physical activity levels will help address objectives within a number of the Public Health Agency’s key areas of work including obesity; mental health; older people; active travel; workplace health; joint Government working – Space and Place; and community development.
Guidelines on Physical Activity – Recommended Levels
UK Physical Activity Guidelines for people of all ages recommends that all adults should:
- be moderately active for 150 minutes per week, preferably daily;
- undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week;
- minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary.
Infographics explaining the physical activity needed for general health benefits for all age groups, pregnant women and women after childbirth.
Physical activity levels in Northern Ireland
The Health Survey for NI 2018/19:
The regional framework, A Fitter Future for All, 2012-2022, for preventing and addressing overweight and obesity in Northern Ireland was launched in March 2012. The framework sets the strategic direction to tackle this important public health challenge over the next ten years with the aim to “empower the population of Northern Ireland to make healthy choices, reduce the risk of overweight and obesity related diseases and improve health and wellbeing, by creating an environment that supports and promotes a physically active lifestyle and a healthy diet”.
To find out more information on getting more active and the benefits of physical activity visit:
Physical Activity Guidelines
AgeNI – Exercise DVDs help you stay fit at home:
Move with Mary videos – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZgroTgDNfIDglYTD44VfnFwP-sOUyr8T
Capacitar – holistic health & well-being techniques eg Tai Chi
Fitness Studio Exercise videos – aerobic, strength and resistance, pilates and yoga
NHS Active 10 app
Take the Next Step
There are a number of people demonstrating physical activities on Facebook and YouTube. Here’s are a few to get you started – just remember you know your own body limits – just do what you are able to do.
Lifedock Training https://www.lifedock.com – Chi Me / Armchair activities
Causeway Rural & Urban Network Dance and Fitness Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/443627563122886/
Get Out Get Active Coaches are based in District Councils (funded by Sport NI) and a range of governing body and community & voluntary sector organisations are delivering a range of sporting and physical activity sessions online eg through the Council’s facebook pages
Antrim and Newtownabbey Leisure Facilities
Antrim Forum Leisure Centre 028 9446 4131
Ballyearl Arts & Leisure Centre 028 9084 8287
Crumlin Leisure Centre 028 9445 2733
Sixmile Leisure Centre 028 9334 1818
Valley Leisure Centre 028 9086 1211
MUDC Leisure Facilities
Cookstown 028 8676 3853 @cookstownleisurecentre/
Coalisland/Dungannon 028 8772 0370 @dungannonLC/
Greenvale Magherafelt 028 7963 2796 @GreenvaleLeisureCentre/
Maghera 028 7954 7400 @magheraleisure/
Mid Ulster Sports Arena 028 8676 7135 @midulstersportsarena/
Moneymore 028 8674 7974 @Moneymore-Recreation-Centre/
Meadowbank, Magherafelt 028 7939 7117 @MeadowbankSportsArena/
Tobermore Golf Centre 028 7939 7939 @TobermoreGolfCentre/
Mid and East Antrim Leisure Facilities
Amphitheatre Wellness Centre 028 9335 8342 firstname.lastname@example.org
Seven Towers Leisure Centre 028 2563 3382 STLC.Reception@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
Larne Leisure Centre 028 28 262 497 email@example.com
Sport NI social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram –signposting to mental health initiatives and how to cope.
The Sport Wellbeing Hub (https://www.inspiresupporthub.org/sports/)
British Gymnastics Foundation – The Love to Move Programme
Love to Move is an age and dementia friendly seated movement programme. The programme helps to improve memory, balance, flexibility and co-ordination. eg
WISPA (Women in Sport and Physical Activity) are offering ‘Isolation Workouts’ via their YouTube channel.www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIfkAzLOpFo&list=PLLcrA6-TX8BnQ7aNksLr8yWzVcMw_v1ip
Disability Sport NI through their ‘Live Active NI’ facebook page have delivered an extensive range of physical activities that people can participate in within their own homes. These have included:
- Low Intensity Arm Workouts; which are suitable for anyone with some upper body mobility, wheelchair users, anyone with limited mobility and those with long term health conditions.
- Tai-Chi, a series of sessions have been hosted, this can help develop strength, improve posture, co-ordination and balance and can aid relaxation. It’s beneficial for people with health conditions, older people and those who are at risk of falling.
Through its social media, Sport NI is also signposting to the WalkNI and OutmoreNI websites as a result of the change in legislation.
Sport NI will work with the 11 district councils to explore how best to re-engage communities and individuals of all ages in physical activity.