Encouraging and supporting physical activity in our community
Community and Public Health seeks 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;
- Cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer;
- Depression, dementia and anxiety;
- Osteoporosis and fractures; and
The key messages regarding 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. We also support key stakeholders to run the an event during the annual Walking Festival in Christchurch – and overlapping with Mental Health Awareness Week.
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 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.
Community and Public Health supports active lifestyles for Canterbury District Health Board staff by promoting activities such as:
- promoting and supporting involvement in activities such as the annual Walking Festival in Christchurch, and the 100 Day Challenge;
- organising exercise classes at hospitals and other office locations including yoga, Pilates and Zumba;
- developing relationships with physical activity providers and retailers to provide staff discounts;
- negotiating with the Metro Sports Hub to provide activity classes catering for shift workers; and
- encouraging and informing about active transport.
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.
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
There are many activities that are free or for low cost for anyone to join in your region. The following sheets list are some of the options available near you.