Sport Singapore and the Health Promotion Board have issued a new recommendation for adults to clock 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week under the new Singapore Physical Activity Guidelines (Adults should have 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week: SportSG, HPB guidelines, June 12).
This has been greeted with consternation and even despair in some quarters, with pessimistic comments on social media saying that pressing bread-and-butter issues will get in the way.
But this does not have to be so daunting.
The new guidelines do not specify a minimum time needed for a bout of physical activity. Hence, instead of making a deliberate trip to the gym for a workout or a Zumba session, people could build in a range of spontaneous physical activity throughout the day amid their daily routine.
When I was working, I configured my workstation so I could stand while working. I also climbed at least 100 flights of stairs a day while getting into the office, going out for lunch and back, and going home. I also took the stairs to meet colleagues on different floors of the building.
Travelling by MRT is also an opportunity to take the stairs. I do not think the extra few minutes spent climbing the stairs instead of taking the escalators will set anyone back very much.
As these activities would take place in an air-conditioned environment, there would not be much concern about sweating. I encourage people to try it. Before you know it, you would have done 30 minutes of activity a day, and are on track to clock more than 150 minutes a week.
Lim Teck Koon