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Step Up!

resizedimage400290 Waikato

Last Friday was World Physiotherapy Day, a day to highlight the importance of movement for life and the role physiotherapists can play in helping ensure you are able to do so. PNZ encouraged New Zealanders to share with us how they keep moving, and in particular activities they do with whānau and friends. It was great to see so many responses and you can check them out on our Facebook page.

In 2016 a highly regarded medical journal, The Lancet, published a series of papers highlighting the issues associated with not having enough activity in our lives. They calculated that inactivity is attributed to global healthcare costs of around $53 billion, and is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia, obesity, certain cancers, osteoporosis, and depression.

For the second year running Waikato DHB physiotherapists have marked World Physiotherapy Day by encouraging DHB staff and visitors to incorporate greater activity in to their daily lives. They invited staff and visitors on Waikato DHB sites to take up the challenge of ‘Stepping Up’ in the form of stair climbing, step-ups and other physical activities. The aim will be to encourage individuals to seek opportunities to increase their levels of ‘incidental exercise’.

Georgina Temple, one of the physios who helped organise the event believes that there are lots of opportunities for us all to incorporate more activity in our lives. “Every day there are heaps of opportunities for us to be a little more active by making very minor changes to our routines. Things like standing up while on the phone, parking the car further away from the workplace, or going for a walk at lunchtime all help you to be a little more active each day. One of the easiest ways to be more active and one we encouraged everyone at the DHB to do is to take the stairs. There is lots of evidence to show the benefits of taking the stairs instead of the elevator throughout the day”.

Georgina and the other physios at the Waikato DHB know that by providing guidance and encouraging other staff and visitors how to increase incidental activity, they will inspire others to manage their health and wellbeing.

We encourage you all to follow the Waikato DHB physios example to try and incorporate more activity throughout your day, and if you’re up for the challenge start climbing those stairs.

Why climb stairs?

    • Scientific evidence shows everyday activities like walking and stair climbing are more closely associated with improved health than sport based exercise
    • Climbing just eight flights of stairs a day lowers average early mortality risk by 33%
    • Seven minutes stair climbing a day can halve the risk of heart attack over 10 years
    • Just two minutes extra stair climbing a day is enough to stop an average middle aged person from gaining weight
    • Stair climbing burns more calories per minute than jogging
    • Easy to build into your life and there’s no need for an expensive gym membership
    • Time efficient way to exercise – saves time both in not waiting for the lift and not needing to set aside additional time to ‘exercise’
    • Energy efficient – burn calories, not electricity, save money!



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