WORLD HEALTH DAY 2021
World Health day is celebrated on April 7th, and aims to bring awareness to a specific area of concern for the World Health Organisation (WHO). This year, the WHO has prioritised “building a fairer and healthier world”, a particularly poignant decision when considering the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the most vulnerable communities across the world. Whilst we must acknowledge the multitude of complex social, economic and environmental factors that surround the topic of health inequality, it would not be possible to analyse these in their entirety within this post.
However, one factor that we at KiActiv® are well versed in is that of accessibility to physical activity for the benefit of both an individual health and quality of life. Below, we will dispel the myth that for activity to be effective you must have access to the best facilities, newest equipment and latest programmes, and also consider the ease by which additional activity can be built into your everyday routine. Ultimately, we strive to help people overcome these financial, time and health-related barriers that many in the Western world may face, enabling each and every person to live a healthier, happier life.
Physical activity has the ability to prevent disease through a host of different mechanisms, enhancing cardiorespiratory, vascular, metabolic, musculoskeletal and mental health, alongside positively impacting more organ systems than any single medication. Expanding accessibility to physical activity is therefore undoubtedly central to the prevention and management of chronic conditions worldwide, with its relative ease being fundamental to addressing key health equality concerns. Providing a straight-forward solution enables a greater proportion of the population to get moving, and consequently experience the associated health benefits.
Crucially, the narrative around physical activity and exercise needs to change. When we begin to value all movement, instead of just that of a vigorous intensity, the opportunity for activity grows exponentially. At KiActiv®, we empower you to view activity as multidimensional and make the most of all 112 waking hours in your week. Of course, if you enjoy exercise then we absolutely encourage you to continue with this – activity that you enjoy is going to be the most sustainable and elicit those long-term benefits. However, for many, the idea of high-intensity exercise, group classes or public activity is daunting and off-putting, but thankfully there is are a plethora of other ways to get moving instead!
Recognising the importance of non-sedentary time, encompassing any movement you do throughout the day outside of sitting still or lying down, means that even just wandering around the house when taking a work call, cooking the family dinner, or even chasing around after the kids all provide great options to keep moving. Alternatively, it’s important to realise that can still reach those moderate and vigorous intensities without needing sweaty workouts or a long run. The activities that elicit these various intensities differ for each individual, dependent on a variety of physiological factors, but some examples may include dancing to your favourite song in the kitchen, doing the housework or some even gardening as Spring arrives.
Through shifting your mindset away from traditional exercise and towards everyday movement you will begin to recognise numerous opportunities for activity throughout your daily life, perhaps noticing things that you already do which you could incorporate more frequently into your routine, or similarly curating new habits such as walking to the shops instead of driving or taking a movement breaks when watching TV. Encouraging individuals to find activities and movements that they enjoy, alongside establishing what fits into their current lifestyle and routine, helps to overcome the lack of interest or self-confidence, scarcity of time, facilities or money and other accessibility barriers.
Even the smallest changes to your activity can, and will, have a huge impact on your health over time – these increases in activity will look different for each person. So, on this World Health Day, make sure that every movement you make matters!
You can find out more about World Health Day 2021 here.
The KiActiv® Team