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Thriving in turbulent times- can physical activity help us cope? Nanette Mutrie Professor of Exercise and Sport Psychology, University of Strathclyde,

Dec 20, 2015



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  • Thriving in turbulent times- can physical activity help us cope? Nanette Mutrie Professor of Exercise and Sport Psychology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Director of the Scottish Physical Activity Research Collaboration ( )
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  • World Health Organisation 2004 G lobal Strategy for Diet and Physical Activity Appropriate regular physical activity is a major component in preventing the growing global burden of chronic disease. At least 60% of the global population fails to achieve the minimum recommendation of 30 minutes moderate intensity physical activity daily (60 minutes for children). The risk of getting most major diseases increases by around 2 times in people who do not follow minimum physical activity recommendations.
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  • What can be done- WHO 2004 Increasing physical activity is a societal, not just an individual problem, and demands a population-based, multi- sectoral, multi-disciplinary, and culturally relevant approach. Opportunities for people to be physically active exist in the four major domains of their day: At work (whether or not the work involves manual labour). For transport (walking or cycling to work, to shop etc). During domestic duties (housework, gathering fuel etc). In leisure time (sports and recreational activities). In Scotland we have a physical activity policy lets make Scotland more active By 2022 50% of adults will meet minimum recommendations
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  • Technological advances and changing lifestyles Fewer active jobs Greater reliance on motorised transport Energy-saving devices in the home, at work and shopping environment Attractive and cheap home screen entertainment
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  • lifestyle activity has been engineered out of our lives
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  • What do we mean by regular physical activity? Adults (from let s make Scotland more active ) For general health benefit, adults should achieve a total of at least 30 minutes a day of at least moderate intensity physical activity on 5 or more days of the week. The recommended levels of activity can be achieved either by doing all the daily activity in one session, or through several shorter bouts of activity of 10 minutes or more. The activity can be lifestyle activity or structured exercise or sport or a combination of these.
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  • Physical Activity and Good Mental Health The feel good effect People report that being active makes them feel good People who are regularly active feel worse when they are not active Large scale surveys and experimental studies show that activity is positively linked to psychological well being Self esteem is higher among active children than non active children Cognitive function improves for older adults who begin to exercise People who remain regularly active have less risk of age related cognitive decline Biddle, S. J. H., & Mutrie, N. (2008). Psychology of physical activity: determinants, well- being, and interventions (2nd edition ed.). London: Routledge.
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  • Turbulent times are stressful times somatic: headaches, muscle tension, back pain, dry mouth, heart racing, going red , exhaustion... ... cognitive: worrying, doubting, fearing, poor concentration, panicking....................... behavioural: poor sleep, eating badly, drinking too much, stop exercising, irritable, poor time-keeping................ ...
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  • Physical activity (PA) could be a stress buster moderate PA can reduce stress indices BP, HR, RR, Adrenaline, stress hormones active people recover from stressful events more quickly than less active people - homeostasis PA can provide a positive distraction from work and other stresses PA is associated with good mental health and positive mood states PA can make you feel better about yourself PA can help some people sleep better
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  • Walking for Well-being in the West Some evidence
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  • Purpose of WWW A recent review we published in the British Medical Journal examined the different ways in which walking can be promoted Lack of long term findings Ogilvie, D., Foster, C. E., Rothnie, H., Cavill, N., Hamilton, V., Fitzsimons, C. F., & Mutrie, N., on behalf of Scottish Physical Activity Research Collaboration,. (2007). Interventions to promote walking: systematic review. BMJ, 334, 1204-1207. One way was pedometers
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  • 12-week Results step-counts Steps/day Intervention group Significant increase of 3,175 steps/day
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  • 12-week Results health related outcomes Mean score
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  • 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 100 Worst imaginable health state 0 Best imaginable health state Well-being over 12 months Score (out of 100)
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  • Preventing Poor Mental Health and Providing a Therapeutic Role in Chronic Disease States Several epidemiological studies show a protective effect for PA on depression Physical activity has been shown to improve quality of life for those coping with: Mental health problems Type ii diabetes Cardiac Rehab Pregnancy Alcohol abuse Breast cancer Mutrie & Faulkner, 2004 in Linley and Joseph (Eds) Positive psychology in practice. Wiley:NJ
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  • Quotes from focus groups: Emslie, C., Whyte, F., Campbell, A., Mutrie, N., Lee, L., Ritchie, D., Kearney, N. (2007). I wouldn t have been interested in just sitting round a table talking about cancer ; exploring the experiences of women with breast cancer in a group exercise trial Health Education Research, 2007 available on line. Perceived benefits of the exercise intervention You felt better after it.. lifted. I just felt generally that my health had improved in that hour. Aye, I think I was on a high possibly! (Respondent 3, group 3, intervention arm) I might have had to crawl down (to the class) but when I came out after it was over I felt totally different. I had so much more energy. (Respondent 1, group 6, intervention arm)
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  • How can this happen? The somatopsychic rationale Psychosomatic rationales suggest that the mind can influence the body Somatopsychic suggests the other way round- the body influences how we think and feel So there may be a somatopsychic rationale for psychological benefit from being physically active Mens sana in corpore sano William James (1899) our muscular vigor will always be needed to furnish the background of sanity,and cheerfulness to life, to give moral elasticity to our dispositions, to round off the wiry edge of our fretfulness, and make us good-humoured Neuroscience: being physically active increases neurotransmission, releases mood enhancing substances (endorphins, serotonin), changes the pattern of brain activity
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  • Technological advances and changing lifestyles Fewer active jobs Greater reliance on motorised transport Energy-saving devices in the home, at work and shopping environment Attractive and cheap home screen entertainment
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  • Eight million years20 years!
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  • Social psychology Food production Food consumption Physiology Physical activity environment Individual physical activity Individual psychology
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  • What can we do? Do some more walking every day Find activities that are fun to do
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  • Week 1 and 2: an additional 1,500 steps at least 3 days/week Week 3 and 4: increase to 5 days/week Week 5 and 6: an additional 3,000 steps on at least 3 days/week Week 7: increase to 5 days/week Week 8-12: maintain week 7 Walking Goals
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  • One of my greatest achievements was completing the Walk Leader training last year John, Walkaboutabit, Islay Its not only the physical health reasons that make walking so good for everyone but also the benefits to your inner self by sharing our beautiful countryside with other like-minded people Danny, Renfrewshire walks, Renfrewshire Walking keeps you young and allows you to do other things. It s pure, dead, brilliant Chris, Next Steps, Blairgowrie Paths to Health train walk leaders
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  • Conclusions And Discussion Physical activity can help some of the pressing issues of these turbulent times Stress management Improving physical and mental health Obesity prevention You can start by increasing the amount of walking you do find some fun in your activity sessions! Over to Sharon McNeish [[email protected]]
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