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Physical activity guidelines UK – reviewed 2022

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Physical activity guidelines UK

Physical activity guidelines UK

Get Active in Merton!

We all know that we should be active in our daily life, but just how much physical activity should we be doing every week?

The Chief Medical Officer physical activity guidelines UK recommends for adults that we should do the following each week:

1, 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week in durations of at least 10 minutes
OR 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity

OR A combination of both

2, Muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days a week

3, Limit time spent sitting for extended periods

4, For older adults (65+) – Balance and co-ordination activities at least 2 days a week

The important thing to remember with physical activity is that the more the better, but some is better than none.

What are some examples of moderate intensity activity?

The following activities all count as moderate activity for most people:

  • Pushing a lawn mower
  • Hiking
  • Volleyball
  • Cycling on level ground
  • Basketball
  • Doubles tennis
  • Brisk walking

What are some examples of vigorous intensity activity?

The following activities all count as vigorous activity for most people:

  • Jogging or running
  • Swimming fast
  • Riding a bike fast or on hills
  • Singles tennis
  • Football
  • Rugby
  • Hockey

What are some examples of muscle strengthening activities?

The following activities all count as muscle strengthening activities for most people:

  • Lifting weights
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups
  • Heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling
  • Yoga

What are some examples of balance and co-ordination activities?

The following activities all count as balance and co-ordination activities for most people:

  • Yoga
  • Tai-chi
  • Dancing

Source: NHS website – Physical activity guidelines for older adults

The One You Merton ‘Be Active’ page

There are a whole range of activities that you can take part in across Merton to help you get active. There are FREE Parkruns every week, FREE Green Gyms and FREE walks as well as lots of other different sports and activity sessions offered by a range of community providers. To find out more visit our Be Active page.

Building exercise into your daily life – Active 10

In order to get the most benefit from physical activity it’s important to make it manageable and easy to maintain. You’ll probably have noticed that one of the activities listed in ‘moderate activities’ above was brisk walking.  Brisk walking is walking that increases your heart rate and you will not be able to maintain a conversation if you are walking briskly. Walking briskly is also considered to be a speed of 3mph or more. If you feel that you are too busy or not sure what kind of activity you would like to do to be more active then brisk walking can be a great way of getting daily exercise.

The Active 10 app

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities did some research which found that rather than the number of steps we do, it is the intensity and the duration of the activity we do, which is most important. This led to the development of the Active 10 app as it was discovered that walking briskly for a minimum of at least 10 minutes can have significant positive impact on health. An ‘Active 10’ is 10 minutes of brisk walking and the idea is to try and do as many ‘Active 10s’ as you can every day.  The Active 10 app can help you to monitor when you are walking briskly or not and in this way you can easily see where you could fit more brisk walking into your day.  With the Active 10 app you set yourself a goal to do between one and three 10 minute sessions of brisk walking every day and the Active 10 app will track your progress for you.  Find out more and download the FREE Active 10 app!

Further local support

If you would like support to be more active or to find a particular activity in Merton call us on 020 8973 3545 or e-mail us at oneyou.merton@nhs.net