More active people for a healthier world
Regular physical activity is a well-established protective factor for the prevention and treatment of the leading noncommunicable diseases, namely heart disease, stroke, diabetes and breast and colon cancer. It’s also associated with improved mental health, delay in the onset of dementia and improved quality of life and well-being. The WHO presents the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity to reduce sedentarism and promote health. Physical activity is important at all ages and should be integrated into multiple daily environments. Inactive people should start by doing small amounts of physical activity and gradually increase its duration, frequency and intensity. WHO defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. In adults aged 18–64, physical activity includes leisure time physical activity (for example: walking, dancing, gardening, hiking, swimming), 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. All activities has benefits for your health.
What does the WHO recommend?
- Adults aged 18–64 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.
- Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
- 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.
- Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.