For the first time in 10 years, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has updated its guidelines for physical activity. The report published this week states, ‘the most recent global estimates show that one in four (27.5%) adults and more than three-quarters (81%) of adolescents do not meet the recommendations for aerobic exercise’ and the ‘data also reveals no overall improvement in global levels of participation over the last two decades’.
The overriding message from this new report is that we should all be moving more, regardless of age and current health conditions; move more, every day. The report now gives guidance for a weekly number of total minutes of physical activity, the previous guidance stated that exercise should be performed for at least 10 minutes to contribute to the overall target, in the latest report that has been removed. There are no minimum standards, any bouts of exercise count towards the total physical activity volume.
The guidance has been broken down by population group. For Boldies, the recommendations are as follows. For adults aged 18-64 years, they should perform 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. They should also do muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups on two or more days per week. For those over 65 years old, the same amount of time applies along with ‘combinations of balance, strength, endurance, gait and physical function training’ three days per week, which helps to prevent falls and improve mobility and function.
At TheBoldAge we have always said that now is not the time for us to be putting our feet up and taking it easy, and now the WHO agree. Remember, nearly all movement counts, not just running and cycling but ‘walking, active recreation, and play’ are all mentioned. Cleaning the house, cutting the grass, it’s all exercise. So even if you don’t have much time, just remember, some physical activity is better than none!
The BMJ’s overview of the updated WHO guidelines can be found here