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Physical Inactivity

People who are not active enough run a 20 – 30% increased risk of mortality from any number of health-related causes. At least 3.2 million deaths are attributable to insufficient physical activity each year across the globe. Around 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week reduces the risk of heart disease by 30% and the risk of diabetes by 27%.

A range of possibilities for staying active means no excuses!

The good news is here: physical activity does not have to mean hours sweating on the tennis court or a local marathon. Many forms of sport and recreational activities around our home, garden and community boost heart health.

Consistency and not necessarily long periods of strenuous exercise is the key to effective physical activity. This means that getting up to 30 minutes a few times per week of moderate exercise will enhance your heart’s ability to pump blood around the body.

Or break it up: that same 30 minutes can be split into three sets of 10 minutes each or two sessions of 15 minutes each – this is welcome news for many of us who say time is short to fit in exercise.

Activities – calories

Get the benefits

Moderate physical activity such as walking, dancing, housework and gardening increases your heart rate, but you should still be able to talk normally. Vigorous physical activity such as running, cycling, swimming and playing competitive sports quickens breathing and talking becomes a bit more difficult.

When we move, our heart moves with us by:

  • Reducing high blood pressure, and maintaining healthy blood pressure
  • Helping to manage a good weight balance and reducing the risk of obesity
  • Reducing cholesterol levels
  • Ultimately, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke

And contributes to our well-being by:

  • Boosting mood
  • Reducing levels of stress
  • Increasing energy
  • Improving sleep
  • Building overall confidence and balance

More tips at


Harvard Medical School lists 20 ways to burn 150 calories – can you name them?