How well do you know the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines?

Written by Coryn Littler

January 2, 2020


Despite the speed and volume of information at our fingertips, it’s often surprising to hear just how many people are unaware of the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines. 

Particularly when it comes to strength-building activities…

Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and the Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines are as follows: 

Ages 5-17 yos: 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day involving mainly aerobic activities.

  • Activities should be vigorous and include those strengthening muscle and bone at least 3 days per week. 

Ages 18-65 yos: 150 to 300 minutes (2.5 to 5 hours) of moderate or 75 to 150 minutes (1.25 to 2.5 hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity.

  • Activities should include muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.

Ages 65+yos: at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.

  • Activities should incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.

The Department of Health’s “Make your Move” booklet clarifies exercise intensities as:

Moderate: taking some effort, but you can still have a conversation…

  • e.g. brisk walking, recreational swimming, dancing, riding a bike, cleaning windows, raking leaves

Vigorous: requiring more effort and making you breathe harder and faster (the huffy, puffy effect)…

  • e.g. jogging, cycling fast, lifting, carrying digging, field sports

For the Young and Young at Heart….

It is also advised children and young adults (and we would add, people of all ages), build strong bones and muscles through by participating in a variety of physical activities in structured and unstructured ways, like skipping, hopping, running, climbing, swinging, jumping, games like tug of war and hopscotch, dance, gymnastics and martial arts…

Fitness classes and programs incorporate all these types of movements plus body weight exercises like push-ups, lunges, squats and dips as well as the use of resistance equipment.

Activities such as these can be performed with others or at home, indoors and outdoors…. there’s something for every body!

You can download the Australian Government’s guide to Physical Activity guidelines HERE. 

Guidelines for healthy growth and development of children are available HERE.  

You can learn more about Fitness Institute’s full range of courses HERE. 

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