Is it normal to be physically active?


In 2011, the four Chief Medical Officers (CMO) of the UK jointly issued recommendations for the levels of physical activity of our population.

They stated that:

  • Children of pre-school age (under 5 years old), who are capable of walking unaided, should be active for at least 180 minutes spread throughout the day
  • Children and young people aged 5-18 should be active at a moderate to vigorous intensity for at least 60 minutes or more a day
  • Adults aged 19-64 should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more
  • Older adults aged 65 and over should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more

Achieving the CMO’s guidelines can bring about major health benefits.  Even relatively small increases in physical activity are associated with some protection against chronic diseases and may improve quality of life.

In 2010, approximately 47% of adults were inactive, i.e. doing less than 30 minutes of activity a week.  There is a need to increase levels of physical activity across the whole population, and especially for those who lead sedentary lifestyles.

Being active is about moving more in any way which fits into our lives.  From walking and cycling as part of everyday life, to exercising in a gym, playing sports, or just tidying up the garden. Even small changes can make a difference.

Read more about CMO guidelines in Start Active, Stay Active.

2 responses to “Is it normal to be physically active?

  1. Reblogged this on jalihenrypersonaltrainer and commented:
    This article published by REPs is really useful as a guide to what the minimum levels of exercise purely for basic health should be. However it’s worth noting that these minimum levels are not nearly enough to maintain weight which is a very important consideration. An interesting BBC Horizon program, I was fortunate enough to catch last year, highlighted some interesting new research around exercise. One of the pieces of research that stood out for me was when they looked at people who were daily gym-goers but whose jobs were sedentary. The researchers compared the fitness and weight of this group with those who were not gym-goers but whose jobs were active (waiters, builders, bar tenders etc…). They found that those with active jobs were far far fitter and slimmer than those who regularly went to gym but who had sedentary jobs. The take away message being that to integrate activity into your life is far more effective than going to a gym for 60 minutes a day. That’s not to say that gym training should be discarded but rather you should look for ways to include exercise within your life – as the article here suggests and also do a dedicated exercise session several times a week. Things like walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the lift, cycling instead of taking the bus all go a long way towards fitness and weight maintenance.

  2. Reblogged this on Boot Camp & Military Fitness Database and commented:
    Is it normal to be physically active?
    A very good question!

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