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WHO updates physical activity guidelines for the first time in a decade

Article image for WHO updates physical activity guidelines for the first time in a decade

On Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) updated its physical activity guidelines for the first time in a decade.

Under the updated guidelines, adults are advised to do at least an two and a half hour of moderate intensity physical activity per week, or at least an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity.

Adults are also advised to do muscle-strengthening activities on at least two days per week.

In a major change on previous guidelines, the WHO has now provided advice on the dangers of a sedentary behaviour, advising adults to do more than the recommended levels of moderate and vigorous activity to reduce the detrimental effects of excessive sitting.

Head of the physical activity laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, David Dunstan, says the recommendations acknowledge, for the first time, that any movement is beneficial.

“What’s really important and new in these guidelines is that the WHO now recognises that every move counts … Just moving around more frequently in your day is likely to lead to health benefits,” he told Ross and Russel.

“Just puttering around the office can lead to important health benefits.”

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