The Bureau of Health Promotion urged mothers to exercise regularly to lower the chances of developing cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
According to the latest available survey conducted by the bureau in 2009, only 9.2 percent of the mothers polled exercise hard enough to break a sweat at least three times a week and for at least 30 minutes each time.
The survey showed that the younger the mothers were, the less they exercised regularly, with only 4.1 percent of mothers aged 15 to 24 doing so, 4.6 percent of those aged 25 to 34, 7.3 percent of those aged 35 to 44, 10.9 percent of those aged 45 to 54, and 12.8 percent of those aged 55 to 64.
The bureau said the WHO has identified lack of physical activity as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, accounting for 6 percent of deaths globally.
Physical inactivity can also lead to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity and can heighten the risk of developing colon cancer, hypertension, osteoporosis, lipid disorder, depression and anxiety, the bureau said.
The WHO recommends on its Web site that “adults aged 18 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.” It states that physical activity does not only cover exercise, but also other activities involving bodily movement and those “done as part of playing, working, active transportation, house chores and recreational activities.”
The bureau’s recommendation for mothers is to exercise at least 30 minutes every day, and to break the time into different sessions if they deem it more feasible.
Two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions of walking and biking have the same effect as one 30-minute continuous bout of exercise, it said.