Physical Health

What is physical activity?

Physical activity is anything that gets you moving, speeds up your breathing and elevates your heart rate. Sufficient physical activity is essential for healthy growth and development, reducing chronic diseases and increasing your chances of living a longer life.

What is physical inactivity?

Physical inactivity is a lack of moderate to vigorous physical activity incorporated in a person’s daily life. Physical inactivity is a risk factor for serious health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Key facts

  • Only 1 in 20 young Australians met the physical activity guidelines in 2022 (ABS, 2022).
  • 35% of Australian adults aged 18 to 64 years are insufficiently physically active (ABS, 2022).
  • Over 50% of adults aged 65 years and over are insufficiently physically active (ABS, 2022).
  • In the Town of Bassendean 36.8% of people do less than 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
  • There is a higher percentage of the population burdened with chronic diseases such as cancer (3.1%), diabetes (4.7%), heart disease (4.1%) and lung conditions (2.2%) within the Town of Bassendean compared to the rest of Western Australia.

Benefits of physical activity

  • Reduces fatigue and increases energy.
  • Regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Contributes to better sleep.
  • Helps reduce stress.
  • Can improve mood and mental health by increasing self-esteem and confidence.
  • Improves balance, flexibility and joint movement.
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer.
  • Aids the immune system.
  • Strengthens muscles and bones and reduces risk of injury.
  • Lowers the risk of osteoporosis.

What type and how much physical activity do you need?

You can be physically active at different levels of intensity, including light, moderate and vigorous. It is also important to remember that physical activity does not need to be done all at once. It can be broken up throughout your day.

Vigorous physical activity is where a large amount of energy or effort is exerted which results in a high heart rate and rapid breathing. Examples include:

  • Swimming laps
  • Running or jogging
  • Hiking
  • Cycling quickly or with resistance
  • Participating in organised sports (e.g. basketball, netball, tennis, football).

Moderate physical activity raises your heart rate but does not make you too breathless. Examples of moderate physical activity include:

  • Walking at a fast pace
  • Cycling
  • Gardening
  • Golf
  • Housework (e.g. mopping, vacuuming)
  • Water aerobics.

Muscle strengthening activities include:

  • Climbing
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Lifting weights
  • Sit-ups or push-ups
  • Squats or lunges.

Physical activity for all ages

The amount of time you should spend being physically active per day depends on your age.

Preschool aged children (aged 3 to 5 years)

Preschool aged children should be encouraged to actively play for at least 3 hours each day.

Active play can include activities such as:

  • Skipping
  • Dancing
  • Running
  • Ball games
  • Kicking
  • Throwing
  • Jumping.

    Children and adolescents (aged 5 to 17 years)

    Children and adolescents should aim to do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day. They should spend no more than 2 hours participating in sedentary recreational screen time per day (not including screen time required for schoolwork).

    Adults (aged 18 to 64 years)

    Adults should aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day on most days (preferably every day) and incorporate muscle strengthening activities twice a week.

    The Town provides a range of affordable classes through the RElax Program. The program is designed to encourage adults to participate in physical activity. Some of these include:

    • Yoga
    • Pilates
    • Zumba
    • Tai Chi.

      These courses provide physical health benefits by improving muscle strength, flexibility and balance. They can also improve mental health through promoting socialisation and connection with the community.

      Older adults (aged 65+ years)

      Adults over 65 years of age should aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days (preferably every day).

      • Incorporate additional activities which focus on improving strength, flexibility and balance to prevent falls and injuries at least 3 days per week.
      • There are some great opportunities for seniors to participate in physical activity through Bassendean 55 Plus which hosts activities such as carpet bowls, line dancing, chair yoga and volleyball.

      Opportunities and programs in Bassendean

      The Town of Bassendean encourages people to be physically active and healthy by creating opportunities such as providing walking trails and paths, accessible public open spaces, parks and reserves for recreation, active transport and sporting clubs.

      There are also a number of physical activity programs and support groups available in Bassendean including:

      • Taekwondo Martial Arts
      • Ability Dance classes
      • Kindy Dance Time
      • Pregnancy yoga
      • Swan Bassendean Community Weight Loss Group.