WHO has detailed recommendations on the amount of physical activity people of all ages should do to benefit their health and wellbeing. Here are the minimum levels we recommend:
Infants under the age of 1 year need to
- be physically active several times a day.
Children under 5 years of age
- should spend at least 180 minutes a day in physical activities, with 3-4 year-olds being moderately or vigorously active for an hour a day.
Children and adolescents aged 5-17years
- all children and adolescents should do at least 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity, including activities that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 days per week.
Adults aged over 18 years
- should do a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity throughout the week, including muscle-strengthening activities 2 or more days per week.
- older adults with poor mobility should do physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on 3 or more days per week.
But any physical activity is better than none. Start with small amounts and gradually increase duration, frequency and intensity over time.
Being active during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for us all. Because the opportunities to be physically active seem to be more restricted, it is even more important to plan in every day the ways to be active and to reduce the time spent sitting for long periods. Put simply, it is a critical time to ensure we all move more and sit less.