The COVID-19 pandemic means that many of us are staying at home and sitting down more than we usually do. It’s hard for a lot of us to do the sort of exercise we normally do. It’s even harder for people who don’t usually do a lot of physical exercise. But at a time like this, it’s very important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible. WHO’s Be Active campaign aims to help you do just that – and to have some fun at the same time.
Remember – Just taking a short break from sitting, by doing 3-4 minutes of light intensity physical movement, such as walking or stretching, will help ease your muscles and improve blood circulation and muscle activity. Regular physical activity benefits both the body and mind. It can reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers – all conditions that can increase susceptibility to COVID-19. It also improves bone and muscle strength and increases balance, flexibility and fitness. For older people, activities that improve balance help to prevent falls and injuries.
Regular physical activity can help give our days a routine and be a way to stay in contact with family and friends. It’s also good for our mental health – reducing the risk of depression, cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia – and improve overall feelings
To help raise awareness on the benefits of physical activity and encourage communities to keep moving during the pandemic, the WHO, Angry Birds Friends and Rovio Entertainment have launched an in-game, week-long tournament called Stay Active.
The tournament features 24 brand-new video game levels related to sports and healthy living, as well as numerous WHO recommendations and tips on how to stay physically active. Throughout the week, the tournament will encourage players to be physically active in real life, with the aim of fostering lasting healthier lifestyles at home.