Physical Activity

Physical activity is all about moving from one place to another. Being physically active is much easier than you think, it includes going for walks, housework,

gardening, as well as sport and exercise. You don’t need to run a marathon to gain the benefits of physical activity, just move more and sit less during the day!

For many people starting to participate in physical activity can be daunting. It’s important to realise that it’s not about dressing in lycra, and goin

g to the gym (if that’s not your thing). You can be physically active anywhere. There are many ways to increase physical activity and one of the easiest ways is to walk!

Physical activity is good for us, not only to help us physically, but also for our mental health. It doesn’t matter what your age or fitness level. Move More, Sit less!

Remember: Doing something is better than nothing!

  • What are the benefits of being physically active & how much do I need?

    Being physically active can have a positive impact on both our physical and mental health. The benefits of physical activity go further than the physical benefits, they also provide cognitive benefits, improve self-esteem, confidence and happiness. It has also been shown to increase immune response and boost your mood.












    The diagram above shows the moderate and strong effect for health benefit across the life course.

    Evidence has shown that physical activity is extremely beneficial for managing and treating many chronic diseases and should be encouraged.  Any form of movement is better than nothing.  Move more, sit less.

    Promotion and opportunities to be physically active are so important for us all despite age, gender,  condition or disability, and should be encouraged slowly and gradually depending on the personal circumstances. Being physically active will help! Something is better than nothing!

    Useful links:


  • Beware of the Chair!

    As humans we are designed to move, not sit, however we tend to sit for long periods of time, without even noticing it.  On average adults tend to sit for 8/9 hours per day, increasing our risk of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, and mood!

    As a society, we have become more inactive and we know from various Health Surveys that over half of people in Northern Ireland, fail to meet the recommended physical activity guidelines for health and report sitting for many hours per day.

    It’s important to try to reduce sitting behaviour as much as possible.

    Why not try the following tips:

    • Stand when talking on the phone
    • Stand during advert breaks
    • Take the stairs instead of lift or escalator
    • Walk instead of taking the car (if possible)
    • Get outdoors and walk
    • Try active travel
    • Try to stand up every 30 minutes (if possible)

    Let’s Move More, Sit less!

  • The Power of Walking!

    Walking is the perfect form of physical activity, its free, no need for special equipment, can be adjusted to any fitness level and you can do it anywhere!

    The benefits of walking The Power of Walking

    Recent evidence has shown the positive impact of the outdoors to mental health & wellbeing. Being outdoors can improve mood, reduce anxiety and stress.

    The Southern Trust has some amazing walking routes and parks, why not check these out – Home – WalkNI

    Recent evidence has shown the positive impact of the outdoors to mental health & wellbeing. Being outdoors can improve mood, reduce anxiety and stress.

    How to get started
    Walk slowly at first, and gradually build up.

    Tips to increase walking:

    • Leave the car at home for short trips – walk to shops or visiting friends
    • Walk to school or work
    • Park the car further away from shops or office
    • If traveling by bus, get off 2 stops early and walk
    • Have a walking meeting or stand for phone calls
    • Avoid lifts and take the stairs
    • Go for a walk at lunch time or after work
    • Sign up to a walking group

    Top 10 mindful walks Top Mindful Walks in Northern Ireland – WalkNI

    Check out other ways to get moving through local Councils:

  • Walking for Health

    The Walking for Health initiative is co-ordinated by the Southern Trust and funded by the Public Health Agency. The initiative provides free Walk Leader training and ongoing support for anyone who would like to lead health walks as a volunteer or in a work capacity.

    Walking for Health provides:

    • Walk Leader training
    • Resources to support your walking group
    • Insurance
    • Support to set up and develop your walking group

    Group walks are led by friendly, specially trained volunteers who will provide support and encouragement on the way. The programme itself targets those who would like to participate in short walks (anything from 5 minutes to under 1 hour).

    We work in partnership with volunteers and staff within local community groups, the Trust and other statutory organisations to promote the benefits of walking and to help people to become more active in Northern Ireland.

    What walking can do for you The Power of Walking

    As a walk leader you will be making a positive impact on your own health and helping other enjoy getting outdoors and improving their health!

    If you are interested in the Walking for Health programme please contact:

  • Daily Mile & Daily Mile at home

    The Southern Health and Social Care Trust in partnership with the Public Health Agency, The Education Authority and local Councils is promoting The Daily Mile™ and encouraging more schools to get involved. The Daily Mile is a social activity, wherein children walk, run or jog at their own pace outside with their class.

    Any primary or nursery school can implement The Daily Mile™ completely free of charge and without the need for staff training. Its impact can be transformational – improving children’s overall fitness, mood and behaviour as well as reducing anxiety and stress levels.

    The Daily Mile is:

    • Free
    • Easy to implement into the school day (with social distancing guidelines)
    • Everyone can take part
    • Has been proven to support  children’s physical and mental wellbeing

    We can support you to implement your own The Daily Mile™ by providing resources and support.

    Check out our Southern Trust schools who have been participating in the initiative Daily Mile in action in the Southern Trust

    The Daily Mile at School

    How to implement the Daily Mile in School

    To register your school and receive resources contact Clare Drummy, Physical Activity Coordinator

  • Staying Active at Home

    Looking for a way to stay active at home? Why not try The Daily Mile at Home?! The Daily Mile at Home is an easy and fun way to help improve your physical and mental health & wellbeing.

    Anyone can take part in The Daily Mile at Home – it’s just 15 minutes of walking, jogging or running per day. The Daily Mile can be done around the garden, in parks or on the street, but please do bear in mind government social distancing regulations. With the help of London Marathon, The Daily Mile have devised weekly challenges to keep you motivated check these out at The Daily Mile at Home | The Daily Mile UK. Send us your pictures and stories and if you are on twitter use the #DailyMileAtHome.


    The Daily Mile at Home Core Principles

    Government Guidance

    IMPORTANT – always follow the Government’s Guidance to keep your family safe and help protect others. If anyone in your household is expressing symptoms, please don’t venture outside. Please ensure when you do The Daily Mile at Home, you are following the latest guidance issued by the government. This could include:

    •Maintaining 2 metres distance between yourself and others

    •Washing your hands before and after doing The Daily Mile at Home

    •Only do The Daily Mile at Home with your household

    •Avoiding crowded places where it may be difficult to follow guidelines

    •Staying local – do it from your own front door and don’t drive to a different location

    For further guidance and updates, please visit the GOV.UK website.