- Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.
- Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
- Adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
- All adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods. Individual physical and mental capabilities should be considered when interpreting the guidelines.
Examples of physical activity that meet the guidelines Moderate intensity physical activities will cause adults to get warmer and breathe harder and their hearts to beat faster, but they should still be able to carry on a conversation. Examples include:
Vigorous intensity physical activities will cause adults to get warmer and breathe much harder and their hearts to beat rapidly, making it more difficult to carry on a conversation. Examples include:
- Sports such as swimming or football
Physical activities that strengthen muscles involve using body weight or working against a resistance. This should involve using all the major muscle groups. Examples include:
- Exercising with weights
- Carrying or moving heavy loads such as groceries
Minimising sedentary behaviour may include:
- Reducing time spent watching TV, using the computer or playing video games
- Taking regular breaks at work
- Breaking up sedentary time such as swapping a long bus or car journey for walking part of the way
What are the benefits of being active daily?
- Reduces risk of a range of diseases, e.g. coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
- Helps maintain ability to perform everyday tasks with ease
- Improves self-esteem
- Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
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