by Vanessa Kennedy
Less than a third of people in Edinburgh are doing the recommended half an hour of exercise a day, a new report has revealed.
An Edinburgh City Council report surveyed up to 4,000 people to ask how many days in the past week they had done 30 minutes of physical exercise which was enough to raise their breathing rate.
Less than a third of people met the recommended target of two-and-a half hours of moderate physical activity per week set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The organisation estimated that 3.2 million deaths per year could be attributed to low levels of physical activity.
The health body advises that active people are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and depression.
Edinburgh University is set to start a pilot “Healthy University” project to address physical activity levels in inactive students who are doing less than the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity.
The head of the project, Helen Ryall, said the aim of the project is to “actively promote and deliver tangible health and wellbeing benefits for the University community through increasing the engagement of staff and students in health and wellbeing across the university”.
The programme will provide one-to-one support to students who are inactive, possibly suffering from mild to moderate depression or weight management issues.
Ms Ryall said: “We know that when students feel well they learn better, so this is a win-win for everybody.”