Every move counts, said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar and urged all to restart and get used to being active on a regular and continuous basis.
He made this comment as the guest of honour at the launching of the second edition of the National Physical Activity Guidelines for Brunei Darussalam at Mulia Hotel yesterday.
The minister said, within the last decade, the rise in the use of motor vehicle transportation, technology and urbanisation in the global and local level, has caused the lack in level of physical activities around the world. In addition, the lack of physical activities has further worsened caused by COVID-19 since two years ago in many countries including Brunei Darussalam.
The pandemic has also greatly impacted part of the population especially individuals suffering from non-communicable diseases, the low-income class and even children required to be in isolation and not able to carry out physical activity, he added.
Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said, “Alhamdulillah, the level of physical activity in Brunei Darussalam for adults obtained from several studies has shown an increase from 65 per cent in 2011 to 75 per cent in 2016.”
Despite the positive trend among the population in general, he said, “part of the population is still not able to meet the guidelines’ target of at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week”.
“For example, women have been found to be twice as less active than men. The latest Global School Health Survey 2019 also shows that 88.5 per cent of adolescents are still unable to achieve physical activity targets of at least 60 minutes per day.
“The lack of physical activity is one of the long proven risk factors of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and adverse health effects. The opposite of physical activity is being sedentary,” said the minister. Being sedentary “is like sitting for a long time; lying down at home, at work or in the car, spending more time using devices and equipment such as mobile phones, computers, televisions or video console”, he said.
“Study has shown that sedentary behaviour can lead to adverse effects on health and in turn can contribute to chronic disease and death.
“Therefore, the lack of physical activity coupled with an excessive sedentary lifestyle, can worsen and affect health as well as the well-being of the physical and mental state, not to mention, people who are already suffering and are affected by NCDs.”
The minister said it is important to begin or maintain a healthy lifestyle and continue to teach and motivate children, members of the family, friends, and work colleagues.
“Conducting consistent physical activity needs to become a daily practice because it not only can prevent obesity and NCDs, but also control the occurrence of complications.
“In fact it has been proven to be effective in helping maintain a healthy weight; increase mental health; improve brain function such as learning, attention span and memory; reduce the risk of osteoporosis or bone fragility; as well as reducing injuries caused by falls especially, among senior citizens.
The guidelines, the minister said “is not limited for the use of health professional in patient management. In fact it can used by relevant parties such as those in sports, education, research, infocommunication and development as well local associations and communities covering all ages and groups of disabilities.”
The recommendations in the guidelines, he said “needs to be understood, disseminated and shared as well as fully supported so that each individual can fulfill its recommendations for physical activity and reduce their sedentary activity”.