Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines

The Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines were updated by the government, June 2014 this is a change to the previous National physical activity guidelines (NPAG’s). These guidelines outline the minimum levels of physical activity required to receive health benefits. A healthy community utilises less tax payers money on health services for preventative diseases that could be avoided with increased physical activity and a reduction in sedentary behaviour. 

Key Principles for adults

  • Minimise time spent in prolonged sitting
  • To be active everyday in as many ways as possible
  • Minimise time spent engaging in sedentary behaviour
  • Break up long periods of sitting
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.

Physical activity and Sedentary behaviour guidelines as below

 

Age Group Frequency/Duration Intensity Type Sedentary Behaviour Recommendations
Infants (0-5) years Daily low floor-based play activity younger than 2 years  should have no sedentary screen based time.1-5 year olds should not be kept inactive for more than 1 hour except for sleep.
Toddler (1-3) years and preschoolers(3-5) years Daily, 3-5 year olds should be active 3 hours spread throughout the day 3-5 moderate to vigorous play based activity 2-5 year olds less than 1 hour of sedentary screen based time per day
children (5-12) years Daily, 60 minutes of physical activity moderate to vigorous Variety of aerobic activities, recommended that at least 3 days per week to engage in activities to strengthen muscles and bones. Minimise sedentary behaviour in particular sitting. No more than 2 hours screen based sedentary timeBreak up long periods of sitting.
young adults (13-17) years Daily, 60 minutes of physical activity moderate to vigorous Variety of aerobic activities, recommended that at least 3 days per week to engage in activities to strengthen muscles and bones. Minimise sedentary behaviour in particular sitting. No more than 2 hours screen based sedentary timeBreak up long periods of sitting.
Adults( 18-64) years Active most days 150-300 Minutes of moderate activity or 75-150minutes of vigorous activity Variety of aerobic activities, recommended that at least 2 days per week to engage in activities to strengthen muscles and bones. Minimise sedentary behaviour in particular sitting. Break up long periods of sitting.
Elderly (64+) years Active most days, 30 minutes of physical activity moderate activity Include some aerobic activities and to participate in activities that will increase strength, flexibility and balance. Minimise sedentary behaviour in particular sitting. Break up long periods of sitting.

Glossary

Sedentary Behaviour = Activities that do not increase energy expenditure substantially above the resting level. Sedentary behaviours include activities such as sleeping, lying down, sitting, watching television and other screen-based entertainment.
Low Activity= Able to comfortably talk and requires little physical exertion. Less than 50% max Heart Rate.
Moderate Activity= takes some effort but the individual is still able to speak. Around 50-70% of max Heart Rate.
Vigorous Activity= Requires more physical exertion and causes the individual to huff and puff being unable to speak. Around 70-85% max Heart Rate.