SINGAPORE — In a bid to get the public to improve their fitness levels, authorities have released a new set of physical activity guidelines that included, for the first time, recommendations for pregnant and postpartum women. , as well as for people with disabilities.
The new guidelines, which were officially launched at Canberra Plaza on Sunday June 12, will be incorporated into all physical activity programs of the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Sport Singapore (SportSG).
Currently, there are more than 2,700 physical activity sessions by HPB and SportSG each week, the two organizations said in response to TODAY’s questions.
Noting that scientific evidence has come a long way since the last version of Singapore’s physical activity guidelines were published in 2011, Dr Chiang Hock Woon, Deputy Chief Executive of SportsSG, said he hopes the new guidelines will meet the current needs.
“For example, we provided relevant information for preschool children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities,” he said.
“These are very important to ensure that the guidelines are for everyone and meet the needs of different segments. I hope this helps everyone move forward and believe they can live a healthier and more active lifestyle.
According to the new guidelines, pregnant and postpartum women are encouraged to limit the time spent being sedentary by engaging in physical activity of any intensity.
They are also encouraged to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week and to incorporate muscle-strengthening activities and light stretching.
In response to TODAY’s questions about appropriate exercise for women in different trimesters, Dr Ben Tan, Senior Advisor to the Singapore Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, said detailed guidelines for exercise in pregnancy are published by the Obstetrical and Gynecological Society of Singapore.
For example, the society recommends that women in their second and third trimesters avoid lying on their backs when exercising, as this may lead to low blood pressure.
“The guidelines serve as general, overarching guidelines, and for more depth, users are directed to their physicians, who will be guided to the detailed guidelines,” said Dr. Tan, who also serves as head of SingHealth Duke-NUS. Sport. & Center for Exercise Medicine.
The guidelines for preschoolers are also more specific now, with activity recommendations for three age groups.
For example, children aged one and under are encouraged to engage in interactive floor-based activities for at least 30 minutes a day, while those aged one to two should spend at least 180 minutes doing a variety of physical activity of any intensity, spread throughout the day.
Adults aged 18-64 should now aim for at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, up from the previous guideline of accumulating 150 minutes with minimum 10-minute bursts of physical activity .
Similarly, people with disabilities are encouraged to engage in physical activity every day, including light-intensity activity, and to aim for at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week.
Mr Mohamad Farhan Ismail, who has an intellectual disability, believes the guidelines will help encourage other disabled people to stay fit and healthy. He is currently a member of the national bowling team.
For the 30-something, exercise is one way to keep him strong and healthy. He started exercising regularly when he was 13 and now exercises about three times a week.
“When I started exercising, I realized that I didn’t feel so weak anymore…I want to encourage everyone – whether able-bodied or disabled – to participate in any activity they can do,” he said.
View the full set of Singapore Physical Activity Guidelines here.