Articles on Physical activity

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Physical activity is linked to better mental health, but doing too much appears to have the opposite effect, as does too much of a sedentary lifestyle. It is better to alternate between sitting and standing. Shutterstock

Moving more and sitting less is good for the mind as well as the body

A new study shows that moderate to intense physical activity — such as playing soccer or running — for up to 50 minutes per day is associated with better mental health.
Kids are exposed to junk foods often, but encouraging healthy foods at home can make a difference. Adobe stock

Kids’ diets and screen time: to set up good habits, make healthy choices the default at home

Although it's not possible for parents to completely shield their kids from screens and junk food, in the home they have a unique opportunity to establish healthy behaviours.
New research shows that if you pay people for achievable increases in their daily physical activity, they will continue to be more active for months after the rewards are withdrawn. (Shutterstock)

Companies and governments are paying people to get healthy, and it works

Financial rewards can entice us to exercise more, and the benefits are lasting, according to a new research review.
Smartphones make great citizen research tools. We take them everywhere and they have the functions (GPS, accelerometers, camera, audio, video) to sense, share and mobilize data between consenting citizens. (Shutterstock)

How your smartphone can encourage active living

We blame electronic devices for our increasingly sedentary behaviours. So why not harness them to study our movement patterns and tackle urgent health crises?
There’s good evidence drinking coffee before exercise can marginally improve your performance. From shutterstock.com

Health check: can caffeine improve your exercise performance?

Many people drink coffee for that extra bit of energy to go about their day. As well as sharpening our minds, there's evidence caffeine can give us a physical boost, too.
Mountain bikers are reclaiming some of the tracks that were destroyed during the Christchurch earthquakes. from www.shutterstock.com

The importance of sports in recovery from trauma: lessons from and for Christchurch

In the weeks and months following mass trauma, such as the shootings in Christchurch, participating in physical activity can help individuals and communities deal with stress, anxiety and grief.
Secondary school students typically spend less time doing physical activity than they did in primary school. www.shutterstock.com

Adapting to secondary school: why the physical environment is important too

The transition from primary to secondary school can be tough for children socially and emotionally. Students also do less physical activity in secondary school, and need help with this transition too.
Uninviting, car-dominated streets, like this one in Melbourne, reduce our experience menu by discouraging beneficial activities like walking and sharing places with other people. Daniel Bowen/Flickr

Is your ‘experience diet’ making you unwell?

If the menu of potential activities that do us good is made to look uninviting or challenging, we are more likely to choose the easier but less healthy option.
Teenagers should try to include a combination of aerobic activities (swimming or walking), strength training (sit ups or weight training) and flexibility training (yoga or stretching). www.shutterstock.com

How much physical activity should teenagers do, and how can they get enough?

All Australians aged 13-17 are encouraged to do 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
In poorer communities, shared spaces tend to be poorly maintained and utilitarian. from shutterstock.com

Our urban environment doesn’t only reflect poverty, it amplifies it

We wear our surroundings like a cloak. Lower-income communities often live in environments that discourage healthy, outdoor activities. This perpetuates their poorer health and traps them in poverty.
Before you go for seconds after your meal, have a glass of water and wait five minutes before checking in with your hunger again. from www.shutterstock.com

Ten habits of people who lose weight and keep it off

A new study has found breaking old and forming new habits is key in keeping weight off.
Physical activity improves memory, problem-solving and decision-making ability. Active children have better executive functioning, including planning, self-regulation and the ability to perform demanding tasks with greater accuracy. (Shutterstock)

Children with disabilities need better access to sport

Sport and other physical activity is vital to the developing bodies and minds of children; for those with disabilities it can be hard to access and is yet even more important.

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