Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years)

Rathmines Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre were excited about the recent updates to the Guidelines for Physical Activities as we strongly recommend you be active! Here is some of the information for you:

Being physically active and limiting your sedentary behavior every day is essential for health and wellbeing. These Australian guidelines are for all adults aged 18 – 64 years, irrespective of cultural background, gender or ability.


The government’s new guidelines are called the Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines

• Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount. (E.g. park further away from the shops and walk a few extra minutes, get off the bus on the stop earlier, use stairs instead of lift or escalator, go for a short walk in your lunch break.)
• Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
• Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
• Vigorous intensity activities require more effort and make you breathe harder and faster (“huff and puff”). E.g. jogging, fast cycling, many organized sports.
• Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week e.g. body weight exercises like squats, pushups, step ups, hand weight or theraband exercises which your physiotherapist can prescribe for you.
• Minimize the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
• Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.


Being sedentary means sitting or lying down for long periods (not including sleeping). So a person can do enough physical activity to meet the guidelines and still be considered sedentary if they spend a large amount of their day sitting or lying down at work, at home for study, for travel or during their leisure time.

Time Saving Tip
You may choose to do a combination of moderate and vigorous intensity activities.
• 10 minutes of vigorous intensity activity is equal to 20 minutes of moderate intensity activity. E.g. 30 minutes of walking = 15 minutes of jogging.

Moving more and sitting less will:

• Reduce your risk of, or help manage, cardiovascular disease.
• Reduce your risk of, or help manage, type 2 diabetes.
• Maintain and/or improve your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
• Reduce your risk of, and assist with rehabilitation from, some cancers including breast, colon and prostate.
• Prevent unhealthy weight gain and assist with weight loss.
• Build strong muscles and bones.
• Create opportunities for socializing and meeting new people.
• Help you to prevent and manage mental health problems such as depression.
• Help you to develop and maintain overall physical and mental well-being.

Move more, sit less, every day!
Doing any physical activity is better than doing none.

If you are not currently doing any physical activity, you will benefit from starting some. You can start slowly and gradually increase the amount you do.

See the following brochure for more details on the website listed, as well as guidelines for children and the elderly.

Consult one of the physiotherapists at Rathmines Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre for advice on the best types of physical activity for you. Ask at one of your appointments or call 4975-1622 for an appointment.

• Lemanne et al, 2013 “The Role of Physical Activity in Cancer Prevention, Treatment, Recovery and Survivorship” OCOLOGY. Vol. 27 No. 6 June 18
• Hayes et al, 2009 “Australian Association for Exercise and Sport Science position stand: Optimizing cancer outcomes through exercise” Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 12. P 428-434