Incidental Physical Activity

published 19 Aug 2016 by Rita Nehme in Health Promotion category with 0 comments

Not quite getting in the recommended weekly amount of physical activity? You are not alone, it is estimated that 60% of Australians are in the same boat, yet insufficient physical activity contributes significantly to the burden of diseases in Australia. But did you know that you can accumulate ‘time towards’ the recommended amount of physical activity by doing stuff such as getting off the bus a stop or two early? This sort of thing is called incidental physical activity or incidental exercise and it all counts! So what are some examples of incidental physical activity? Getting off the bus, train or tram a stop earlier than your normal stop and walking the rest of the way, cleaning up around the house (boring I know), taking the stairs instead of the lift, cycling or walking to work or even just to the train station, walking to the shop instead of getting in the car or mowing the lawn are just some things you can do to contribute to the recommend amount of physical activity.

So what has this got to do with Steer North you might ask? Steer North folk aren’t exactly missing out on the recommended weekly amount of physical activity training for a ridiculously long bike ride.

Well this is why.

Steer North is a health promotion charity. We are using our ridiculously long bike ride to encourage individuals and communities we encounter to be more active, and live healthier lives. For some people, being more active is going to be different from others – not everyone is going to sign up for a gym class or join a football team – and time restraints influence people differently. But maybe they will be inspired to know that incidental physical activity counts, and is just as important as other types of physical activity – we will be happy with that! Beyond this, Steer North aims to work with communities to enable them to identify things that could be changed or introduced in their communities to make it easier for people to live healthier lives. This could be as simple as increasing lighting or seating along a walking path so people are more likely to get out and walk or cycle for leisure or to and from school or work. This is just touching on what health promotion is all about – it is so much more! Inspiring right?

Does health promotion sound like something you are passionate about? Check out the undergraduate and postgraduate Public Health degrees offered by Steer North’s Academic partner Australian Catholic University (