New UK physical activity guidelines launched by CMO
The four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMO) have published new physical activity guidelines covering early years; children and young people; adults; and older adults.
These guidelines have a renewed focus on being active everyday and spell out the recommended minimum levels of activity for each age group:
180 minutes – (three hours) – each day, once a child is able to walk.
For non-walkers physical activity should be encouraged from birth, particularly through floor-based play and water-based activities in safe environments.
Children and young people (5-18 year olds)
60 minutes and up to several hours every day of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity. Three days a week should include vigorous intensity activities that strengthen muscle and bone.
Adults (19-64 years old) and older people (65+)
150 minutes – (two and half hours) – each week of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (and adults should aim to do some physical activity every day). Muscle strengthening activity should also be included twice a week.
'Start Active, Stay Active' updates the existing guidelines for children, young people and adults, and includes for the first time in the UK, new guidelines for early years and older people. The flexibility of the guidelines creates new ways to achieve the health benefits of an active lifestyle, while retaining a strong link to previous recommendations. For all age groups, they highlight the risks of excessive sedentary behaviour, which exist independently of any overall volume of physical activity.
To support these guidelines the Department of Health has produced a number of factsheets outlining the guidelines for each age group:
Download Factsheet 1: Early years (under 5s not yet walking)
Download Factsheet 2: Early years (under 5s capable of walking)
Download Factsheet 3: Children and young people (5-18 years)
Download Factsheet 4: Adults (19-64 years)
Download Factsheet 5: Older adults (65+ years)
How can you use these guidelines?
The BHFNC is currently developing a number of resources to help you to use these guidelines effectively. We are preparing tools for schools, parents, health professionals and practitioners to help interpret the guidelines and provide practical tips. These will be tailored according to the age group/target audience and will be released shortly.
To receive updates straight to your inbox when these supporting materials are released sign up to the BHFNC database
- Publication Date:
- 11 July 2011