Kiwi men lazy, should play sport instead of watching it - expert

Men watch sports
Every three hours a New Zealand man dies from a preventable illness. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand guys need to get out and start exercising more or the preventable death rate will continue to soar, a leading national exercise expert says.

Chief executive of Exercise New Zealand, Richard Beddie, says New Zealand men love their sport but too many are watching from the couch and not getting fit.

Statistics show that every three hours a New Zealand man dies from a preventable illness, he said.

Men's Health Week starts on Monday and Mr Beddie said it was the perfect time to highlight the need to exercise and be more active.

"It's great to watch great games like the Lions versus Crusaders rugby clash but now Kiwi guys need to get active to make up for long periods on the couch," he said.

"The numerous benefits of regular physical activity are unequivocal, with not only well-established physical health benefits.

"We see significant preventative health benefits, including everything from mental health and Alzheimers, through to osteoporosis and hearth disease."

Mr Beddie said it is important to move more - sometimes with intensity - and eat less, don't smoke and cut back the amount of alcohol you drink.

He appealed to government-funded agencies to move away from "pushing information campaigns" and working with those in the exercise industry to change behaviour.