During the current unprecedented situation with many people confined in self-isolation, it is more important than ever before to ensure we all promote and adhere to appropriate levels of physical activity as an essential contributor to both physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Below is a simplified message we would encourage our colleagues to promote to public.
What is Physical activity:
• Any activation of skeletal muscles, in other words any movement, that uses energy regardless of level of ability or fitness, and it is crucial to clarify to the public that exercise is just one form of physical activity and not the only way of keeping active.
• You don’t need any special equipment or specific space to be active
• you don’t have to be outdoors to be active
• you don’t necessarily need to do exercise or sports to keep active.
Make active choices:
• You just need to make the right choices in your daily life, even indoors, and try to be a bit more organised.
• You can make activities fun for yourself and your family.
• Examples: You can go up and down the stairs a bit more; you can dance to music; you can play active games; you can walk more, even indoors; stand up and stretch; take breaks from sitting; do some work in the garden if you have one, or around the house.
• You can also have dedicated times for doing more organised exercise appropriate for your level of ability and fitness.
General rules of thumb:
To benefit from health enhancing effects of physical activity, there are age appropriate guidelines, however; to simplify:
• The recommendation for adults per week is 150 minutes of moderate, OR 75 minutes of vigorous intensity, OR a combination of both levels of activity. In simple terms, approximately 30 minutes of daily activity. In children this increases to 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity activity per day. More specific age group recommendations can be found through WHO and PHE websites.
ECOSEP STATEMENT ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
• The daily recommendations can be spread into shorter bouts through the day.
• As for intensity; if you can talk and sing during the activity you are doing low intensity. If you
can talk but not sing, this is moderate, and if you find it difficult to speak in full sentences
this is vigorous intensity.
• Regardless of above recommendations, do what you can do within your level of ability and
fitness. The more the better.
• If you are not used to being active, start slow and increase gradually over a longer period.
During the current pandemic:
• Avoid exercise if you are unwell or experiencing any signs and symptoms of a possible
• Observe social / physical distancing if going outdoors for physical activity.
• Do not take risks. It will be more difficult to deal with any injuries during these times.
• Stay within your limits and increase activities gradually. Probably not a good time to push
beyond your ability or try an activity you may be completely unaccustomed to.
• If you have any background medical or health conditions, always check with your doctor
before making any significant changes to your routines
• Always follow the latest official advice on isolation, hygiene and healthy practices as this is an evolving situation.
Stay Safe , Keep Active !
Dr Amir Pakravan
Chair, Fighting Inactivity Committee
Dr Nikos Malliaropoulos
Secretary General, ECOSEP