Physical Activity Guidelines

Physical Activity Guidelines
Prepared by  Prepared by: Dr Ralph Richards, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Australian Sports Commission
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 15 March 2017          
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Physical Activity Guidelines
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Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor globally for mortality.
  • Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health (PDF  - 1.8 MB), World Health Organisation (2010). Physical inactivity is now identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. The recommendations set out in this document address three age groups: 5–17 years old; 18–64 years old; and 65 years old and above.
Governments have a central role, in cooperation with many other stakeholders, in creating an environment that empowers
and encourages physical activity behaviour by individuals, families, and communities. Being physically active can have many positive personal health benefits (both physiological and psychological) as well as social and community benefits.

Key Messages 


Governments have a central role in providing evidence-based guidelines for health and lifestyle enhancing physical activity across all age-groups.


Governments and stakeholders can use physical activity guidelines to shape policy and implement relevant strategies.


The total economic cost of physical inactivity is substantial, it consists of increased health care costs, lost productivity, and premature mortality.


The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a global strategy on physical activity, advocating a mixture of 'top-down' and community-based actions.

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