Physical Activity Guidelines

Physical Activity Guidelines        
Prepared by  Prepared by: Dr Ralph Richards and Christine May, Senior Research Consultants, Clearinghouse for Sport, Australian Sports Commission
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 29 January 2018
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Physical inactivity has been identified as one of the leading risk factors globally for mortality. High levels of sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity at a national population level can also have a significant negative impact on a nation’s health budget and wider economy. 

Governments play a central role in partnering and cooperating with many other stakeholders to promote and implement preventative health initiatives. This collective impact can create an environment that empowers and encourages physically active behaviour by individuals, families, and communities.

Being physically active can have many positive personal health benefits—for both mind and body—as well as social and community benefits. Sport and active recreation organisations and clubs play a key role in helping people and communities to be more physically active and meet established physical activity guidelines. 

Key Messages 


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


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


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


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

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