Encouraging and supporting physical activity in our community

Community and Public Health wants to improve the health and wellbeing of the people in our region by supporting the population to become more physically active.

Being physically active helps prevent and manage a wide range of conditions and diseases including:

  • Heart disease and hypertension;
  • Type 2 diabetes;
  • Stroke;
  • Cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer;
  • Depression, dementia and anxiety;
  • Osteoporosis and fractures; and
  • Obesity.

The key messages on physical activity and health are:

  • Be active every day in as many ways as possible – for at least 30 minutes for adults and at least 60 minutes for children.
  • Add some vigorous exercise for extra benefit and fitness.
  • Aim to maintain a healthy weight throughout life.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down.

Mental Wellbeing and Physical Activity

Physical activity releases the “feel good” chemicals (endorphins) into the body, making you feel better.
Community and Public Health actively promotes the Five Ways for Wellbeing.

Community and Public Health contributes to the Equally Well Project. This project aims to reduce physical health disparities between people who experience mental health and addiction problems and people who don’t.

Staff at the Christchurch office of Community and Public Health work with people in disadvantaged areas and run the BuyCycles pilot project in partnership with the Community Focus Trust.

Contributing to physical activity in the community

Active Canterbury Network.Community and Public Health is a member of Active Canterbury which lists local groups, clubs or classes for activities and gives information about parks, tracks and facilities. We support this network in its work to:

  • supply activity providers and health professionals with the tools and information needed to help people get more active, more often.
  • raise awareness of training and funding opportunities to support physical activity
  • provide education programmes that meet the needs of local community physical activity providers and the wider fitness industry.

Community and Public Health also supports workplaces to improve staff wellbeing by increasing their physical activity.

We also work to ensure our urban areas are designed to encourage physical activity collaboratively with key stakeholders across the region. This includes green spaces, recreational parks and walking trails, and making forms of active transport easier more accessible (such as public transport, walking and cycling). This is achieved by contributing to local and regional planning strategies and initiatives.



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


Contact your local CPH office for further information:

Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125

Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091

Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169

Low cost physical activity options in your area

Updated: October 2019

There are many activities that are free or for low cost for anyone to join in your region. The following information sheets list are some of the options available near you.

Let's play every day.

Health risks of too much sitting

Featured physical activity initiatives

Page last updated: 15/10/2021

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