World Health Organization (WHO), developed the "Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health" with the overall aim of providing national and regional level policy makers with guidance on the dose-response relationship between the frequency, duration, intensity, type and total amount of physical activity needed for all age groups.
Recommended levels of physical activity for children aged 5 - 17 years
For children and young people, physical activity includes play, games, sports, transportation, chores, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise, in the context of family, school, and community activities.
In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, and cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers:
The scientific evidence available for the age group 5–17 years supports the overall conclusion that physical activity provides fundamental health benefits for children and youth. Appropriate levels of physical activity contribute to the development of:
• healthy musculoskeletal tissues (i.e. bones, muscles and joints);
• healthy cardiovascular system (i.e. heart and lungs);
• neuromuscular awareness (i.e. coordination and movement control); and
• It also facilitates maintenance of a healthy body weight.
Moreover, physical activity has been associated with psychological benefits in young people by: improving their control over symptomps of anxiety and depression; and assisting in social development by providing opportunities for self-expression,
building self-confidence, social interaction and integration.
Recommended levels of physical activity for adults aged 18 - 64 years
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. In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, reduce the risk of NCDs and depression:
Recommended levels of physical activity for adults aged 65 and above
In adults aged 65 years and above, physical activity includes leisure time physical activity (for example: walking, dancing, gardening, hiking, swimming), transportation (e.g. walking or cycling), occupational (if the individual is still engaged in work), household chores, play, games, sports or planned exercise, in the context of daily, family, and community activities.
In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone and functional health, reduce the risk of NCDs, depression and cognitive decline:
These recommendations are relevant to all healthy adults aged 18–64 years unless specific medical conditions indicate to the contrary. They are applicable for all adults irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity or income level. They also apply to individuals in this age range with chronic noncommunicable conditions not related to mobility such as hypertension or diabetes.
These recommendations can be valid for adults with disabilities. However adjustments for each individual based on their exercise capacity and specific health risks or limitations may be needed.
There are multiple ways of accumulating the total of 150 minutes per week. The concept of accumulation refers to meeting the goal of 150 minutes per week by performing activities in multiple shorter bouts, of at least 10 minutes each, spread throughout the week then adding together the time spent during each of these bouts: e.g. 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity 5 times per week.
Pregnant, postpartum women and persons with cardiac events may need to take extra precautions and seek medical advice before striving to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity for this age group.
Inactive adults or adults with disease limitations will have added health benefits if moving from the category of “no activity” to “some levels” of activity. Adults who currently do not meet the recommendations for physical activity should aim to increase duration, frequency and finally intensity as a target to achieving them..