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ExerciseNZ study shows that New Zealanders have gained tonnes of weight during Coronavirus pandemic

ExerciseNZ study shows that New Zealanders have gained tonnes of weight during Coronavirus pandemic
July 16, 2021

New information released by the Exercise Association of New Zealand (ExerciseNZ) shows that Kiwis have gained 2.8 million kilograms, or 2819 tonnes, of body weight in the last 12 months.

ExerciseNZ’s survey found that people gained an average of 5.4kg over the year, almost 10 times the normal rate of adult weight gain.

While, on average, people gain around 500 to 700 grams a year in early adulthood, but this survey shows weight gain is way up.

ExerciseNZ Chief Executive, Richard Beddie believes that the lockdown, and the longer term COVID challenges last year, changed the way people moved, but just as importantly what they ate.

The ExerciseNZ commissioned survey found that stress was a consistent factor for both those who gain weight and those who lose it, and that those that lost the most weight were essential service workers such as police and nurses.

Commenting on the findings, Beddie (pictured) advised “both police and nurse roles had major work changes due to COVID and stress can lead to both weight gain or weight loss, depending on the individual.

“The good news is that in terms of some activity levels, such as those taking part in exercise have returned to pre COVID levels.”

The latest industry survey data shows more than 95% of people who exercised before COVID, are back to exercise as normal in terms of visits and usage.

"While this is good, we need to look at ways where we can bring the benefits of exercise to the 80 percent of the population who don’t presently take part in any structured physical activity.

“One of the ways we are trying to help is by subsidising gym memberships for first time members and a limited number are available around New Zealand that are accessed via www.exercisenz.org.nz.”

ExerciseNZ’s consumer research also found that more New Zealanders today are aware of the benefits of exercise than three years ago.

In 2018, 55% of people in Aotearoa saw value in physical activity. That figure has climbed this year to 61%.

The full report is available to ExerciseNZ members.

Click here for information on ExercesNZ.

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4th February 2021 - ExerciseNZ wants meeting with Prime Minister Ardern over crisis in childrens’ activity

22nd January 2021 - ExerciseNZ urges seniors to get fitter before their COVID vaccinations

5th January 2021 - ExerciseNZ shares advice on gym reopenings

4th January 2021 - ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie recommends activity as a cure for personal challenges of COVID-19

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1st December 2020 - ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie backs WHO’s new weekly health activity guidelines

20th October 2020 - ExerciseNZ cites growing evidence gyms and fitness clubs are safe

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7th May 2020 - ExerciseNZ advises Parliament on fitness during alert level two


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