Experts from exercise medicine advised Malaysians to do away with sedentary behaviour and being physically inactive, and to take advantage of the current Movement Control Order (MCO) by engaging in home-based exercises.

The experts believe the MCO should not be an excuse for people not to exercise as staying sedentary and being physically inactive may pose the risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), namely obesity, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

Exercise medicine expert Prof Dr Lee Chee Pheng said there are rising concerns that the failure of engaging in a healthy lifestyle throughout the MCO period would pose an after-effect on people's health.

"It is recommended that everyone should stay active and do home based-exercises," he told Bernama.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced the extension of the MCO, which came into force on March 18 and was scheduled to end March 31, for another two weeks to April 14 to break the chain of COVID-19 infections.

Commenting further, Dr Lee said those who have been actively exercising and have stopped due to MCO will be going through a de-training process that can reverse all their gains from the previous exercise session.

"You will lose your strength, your heart and lungs fitness and end up with an increase in body fat too. And these are the risk factors that can then lead you to catch up with NCDs.

"Therefore, for those who have placed so much effort in their workout, don't lose from what you have gained and continue to exercise at home," he said.

Dr Lee also quoted some statistics saying 65 per cent of deaths in Malaysia due to COVID-19 have at least one comorbidity such as diabetes or hypertension.

Meanwhile, Global NCD activist Datuk Seri Jessy Lai pointed out that many health experts have said that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at a higher risk of COVID-19 infections.

"It is highly recommended that we should stay healthy to prevent the infection to an extent, by doing a home-based workout.

"People should know that physical exercise has the potential to be an alternative remedy to conventional medicine in preventing NCDs. Exercise has proven to produce many positive changes to the human body if executed in the right manner," said the exercise medicine expert.

She said the MS New Symphony Exercise Clinic and The Asia College of Exercise and Sports Medicine have compiled a two-part video of home-based exercise which can be downloaded from