Exercise and Non Communicable Diseases

WHO Release exercise toolkit to help prevent and manage Non Communicable Diseases.

Recently the World Health Organisation released a brand new initiative called Active: a  toolkit for countries to increase physical activity and reduce non-communicable diseases.

What are non-communicable diseases (NCDs)?

Diseases which cannot be transmitted from one person to another are called Non Communicable Diseases. The main examples include stroke, cardio vascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease. NCDs are driven primarily by four major risk factors

  • tobacco use
  • harmful use of alcohol
  • unhealthy diet
  • physical inactivity

Worldwide NCDs account for about 70% of all deaths, however in Ireland in 2014, NCDs accounted for 88% of all deaths.

The Let’s Be Active is an initiative set to use a very simple tool to help prevent and manage NCDs,exercise! Exercise is proven to help prevent people from contracting NCDs such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer. However as we become more advanced technologically there is a decrease in physical activity levels. With improved transportation systems, increase in computer usage and urbanisation we are becoming less active and therefore increasing our risks of developing certain NCDs.

The Let’s Be Active framework was developed as a response to a request from governments for updated guidelines for physical activity and feasible policy guidelines to help increase physical activity levels to help prevent and manage NCDs. The goals are to reduce physical inactivity by 10% by 2025 and by 15% by 2030. You can read more about the policy here.

What can we do to help prevent or manage NCDs on an individual level?

Increasing your own physical activity levels is a good place to start. For older adults the WHO recommends 150 minutes of physical activity per week. However it can be daunting to know what type of exercise to do or where you should turn to. Why not check out a few of our previous blog posts about exercise for older adults or motivating yourself to get active.

You’re Never Too Old to Start Exercising 

Taking the First Step to Exercise

Motivating Yourself to Exercise

At Siel Bleu, we also offer exercise programmes to help managed certain NCDs such as our award winning Exercise, COPD & Me programme, our Stroke Survivor Classes  and our work with Parkinson’s Ireland. Watch this space for a cancer programme coming 2019.



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