GENERAL INFORMATION FROM THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION'S GLOBAL RECOMMENDATIONS ON
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR HEALTH

Patient Resource About Osteopathy Osteopathy for Babies OsteoInfo News Profile Contact Image Map

5–17 years old
For children and young people of this age group physical activity includes play, games, sports, transportation, recreation, physical education or planned exercise, in the context of family, school, and community activities. In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, cardiovascular and metabolic
health biomarkers and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, the following are recommended:
  1. Children and young people aged 5–17 years old should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
  2. Physical activity of amounts greater than 60 minutes daily will provide additional health benefits.
  3. Most of daily physical activity should be aerobic. Vigorous-intensity activities should be incorporated, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 times per week.
18–64 years old
For adults of this age group, physical activity includes recreational or leisure-time physical activity transportation (e.g walking or cycling), occupational (i.e. work), household chores, play, games, sports or planned exercise, in the context of daily, family, and community activities. In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health and reduce the risk of NCDs and depression the following are recommended:
  1. Adults aged 18–64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  2. Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
  3. For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  4. Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
65 years old and above
For adults of this age group, p hysical activity includes recreational or leisure-time physical activity, transportation (e.g walking or cycling), occupational (if the person is still engaged in work), household chores, play, games, sports or planned exercise, in the context of daily, family, and community activities. In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone and functional health, and reduce the risk of NCDs, depression and cognitive decline, the following are recommended:
  1. Adults aged 65 years and above should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  2. Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
  3. For additional health benefits, adults aged 65 years and above should increase their moderateintensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorousintensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous intensity activity.
  4. Adults of this age group with poor mobility should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on 3 or more days per week.
  5. Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups, on 2 or more days a week.
  6. When adults of this age group cannot do the recommended amounts of physical activity due to health conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
Overall, across all the age groups, the benefits of implementing the above recommendations, and of being physically active, outweigh the harms. At the recommended level of 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity activity, musculoskeletal injury rates appear to be uncommon. In a population-based approach, in order to decrease the risks of musculoskeletal injuries, it would be appropriate to encourage a moderate start with gradual progress to higher levels of physical activity.


Reference:
Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, WHO Press 2010,  Geneva, Switzerland