Activity = Health and Happiness

So we know we should be regularly physically active but why? What difference will it really make to my day-to-day life? Ashleigh from the Green Prescription (GRx) programme at Sport Otago explains…

 See and Feel the Difference!

Regular physical activity can have real and noticeable health benefits in every aspect of your life, if you give it a chance.


  • See a change at work as your confidence and self-esteem improves when you’re with your colleagues.
  • You’ll have more energy to take on tasks and have greater concentration so work gets done quicker and more efficiently.
  • You’ll find you can handle stress better, and procrastinate less.
  • You’ll have a bounce in your step and your overall mood will improve.


  • Taking part in that evening social netball game with friends gives you quality time to catch up with friends, let off steam, and hang out with new people.


  • Your heart gets the workout it needs and starts working better for you, which means you can take part in that netball game for longer and with fewer breaks.
  • Stronger muscles mean better support for joints, lower risk of injury and falls, and more effective metabolism of fat.
  • With increased blood flow, healthy cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, you lower the risk of getting high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
  • You’ll sleep better which means less unnecessary snacking, and the ability to maintain a healthy body weight.


  • Where depression or anxiety is a day-to-day battle, physical activity can help manage your symptoms by releasing mood-enhancing chemicals into your bloodstream.
  • Osteoarthritis pain can also be better managed with these same chemicals, allowing you to do the activities and hobbies you enjoy.

Real People, Real Change

A Dunedin GRx participant diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in May 2014 has reduced her weight by 5kg over the last 5 months. She has seen great improvements to her blood sugar levels with reductions from 25mmol/L to 6-7 mmol/L. Since starting with GRx, she has noticed large improvements to her motivation levels: “It was hard in the beginning, but after trying a range of activities including aqua jogging, walking, and gym workouts, I’m now active each day for a minimum of 30minutes.”

A 74 year old GRx participant has seen a reduction in her blood pressure from 150/95 down to 118/80 and weight loss of 4kg. She puts this down to walking 20 minutes each day and being mindful of her dietary intake and portion sizes.

To find out how physical activity can help a wider range of medical conditions, see the Sport Otago Green Prescription webpage under ‘Why Physical Activity?’

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