Monday, May 20, 2024

New York Health Officials Champion Increased Physical Activity Among Residents

State Department of Health Declares April “Move More Month” to Boost Wellness

The New York State Department of Health is rallying residents to embrace a more active lifestyle, announcing April as Move More Month. This initiative comes in response to a noticeable decline in physical activities such as walking and biking across the state, which are essential for maintaining health.

The Department underscores the myriad benefits of regular physical activity, noting that it can significantly enhance heart and mental health and potentially extend life expectancy. “As the weather improves, it presents an ideal opportunity to integrate more movement into our daily schedules,” explains Dr. James McDonald, State Health Commissioner. He suggests simple activities like walking, biking, swimming, and even household chores like gardening or cleaning as good starting points.

Recent findings from the Department’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reveal that while 66.6% of adults in New York used walking as a mode of active transportation during a typical month, only 10.5% engaged in biking. Despite these figures, 67.6% of residents reported using some form of active transportation monthly. However, there has been a general decline in these activities from 2018 to 2021, with a notable disparity between genders—71% of men compared to 64.5% of women engage in active transportation.

The American Heart Association advises adults to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly. Children aged 6-17 should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily.

The state’s health agenda continues to prioritize creating supportive environments for walking and biking. This includes addressing health disparities to ensure all community members have safe and inclusive opportunities for physical activities, aligning with broader public health goals.

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