Activity for health

How much physical activity do individuals need to do to keep healthy?

Early Years – Under 5s (not yet walking)
Being physically active every day is important for the healthy growth and development of babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. For this age group, activity of any intensity should be encouraged, including light activity and more energetic physical activity.
Guidelines

Early Years – Under 5s (walking)
Once a baby starts to toddle, they should be active for at least 3 hours every day. Minimise the amount of time they spend sitting watching TV, playing computer games and travelling by car, bus or train.
Guidelines

Children & Young People – 5-18 years
Children aged 5-18 should do at least one hour of energetic activity every day. This might include running, skipping, swimming or cycling. On at least three days a week they should do some exercise that helps develop their muscles and bones, such as hopscotch, gymnastics, climbing or lifting. Children that are active through their childhood are far more likely to be healthy adults, with less risk of diseases and being overweight.
Guidelines

Adults – 19-64 years
Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, stomach, chest,  shoulders and arms).  Moderate-intensity aerobic activity means you’re working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat.

An easy way to get your 150 minutes would be to do 30 minutes on five days of the week.
Guidelines

Older Adults – aged 65+
Older adults aged 65 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily and should do:

At least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and  muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). Moderate-intensity aerobic activity means you’re working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat.

Even for adults with health conditions, physical activity is still beneficial for most people. Ask your doctor for advice before you get started if you are planning on becoming active for the first time and you have a health condition.

Some activity, however light, is better for your health than none at all.
Guidelines

Want to add an activity, promote a job, course or volunteer opportunity?

Sign and promote your opportunity on our national finder.

Get Started