Come on, shake a leg… or both

If you are the guilty one out of every four adults worldwide who are too inactive, you have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active.


According to the World Health Organisation’s web page, insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. It is also a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.


It seems as if money and location play a role in levels of activity. A study shows that 26% of men and 35% of women in high-income countries were insufficiently physically active, compared to 12% of men and 24% of women in low-income countries.


In cities, factors such as crime in outdoor areas, high-density traffic, pollution and lack of parks can also discourage people from being active.


This edition of Eish! features quite a few people who are good role models for the couch potatoes among us. Fanie Roos and Prof Melvin Mbao are keen golfers, while Dr Pieter van den Berg is training various rugby sevens teams.


Not to mention marathon runner Elroy Gelant and Africa’s best junior heptathlon athlete, Joné Kruger. I’m sure they have worn out countless pairs of running shoes in their lifetime.


You and I can also turn over a new leaf (preferably while exercising outdoors). For instance, those of us who are based in Potchefstroom can join the NWU Institute of Biokinetics.


They are open to all NWU staff and students and their scientific exercise programmes, supervised sessions and gym facilities are available at a monthly fee of R200. (You can get more information and the details of a contact person here.)


The World Health Organisation recommends that adults aged 18 to 64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week.


So, my fellow-lazybones, let’s start moving. Remember: there is a 20% to 30% increased risk of death to outrun…