Easy way to keep fit

PHOTO: Easy way to keep fit

SINGAPORE - The Health Promotion Board (HPB) launched its inaugural set of guidelines yesterday recommending 150 minutes of physical activity per week to combat obesity and reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart disease and colon cancer.

Targeted at those aged 19 and above, the National Physical Activity Guidelines laid out easy exercises for keeping fit, including activities like mopping the floor or climbing the stairs.

"A commonly cited reason for not exercising is the lack of time. We can help overcome this by building physical activity into our daily routine," HPB chief executive Ang Hak Seng said at the launch event in Jurong Central Park, where more than 1,000 people took part in the Great Singapore Workout.

According to the guidelines, each session should last at least 10 minutes.

Vacuuming the floor for half an hour burns as much as 90 calories while scrubbing the bathroom for 30 minutes burns 200 calories - nearly the amount from eating a bowl of rice.

Previous guidelines had advocated 30 minutes of physical activity per day, for five or more days a week.

This created an "artificial threshold" that discouraged people from exercising, said Dr Robert Sloan, deputy director of physical activity at HPB's Adult Health Division.

Dr Sloan also heads the new Physical Activity Centre of Excellence, located at the HPB building near Outram Road. Set up in May, it will spearhead research and develop fitness programmes.

Meanwhile, Boon Lay MRT station joined HPB in promoting an active lifestyle by using colourful stickers stuck on its floor and staircases to encourage commuters to take the stairs instead of the escalators and lifts.

Nine more MRT stations will join the HPB campaign by the end of October.


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