Adults (19-64 years)

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Download and print the UK Physical Activity Guideline + P4E Gettign started leaflet

(Written and produced by the Department of Health)

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  • Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.
  • The same benefits can be achieved with 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity per week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
  • Include muscle strengthening activity on at least two days a week.
  • Minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods
If you are looking for advice on getting started, click here.

Examples of physical activity that meet the guidelines

See Complete P4E programme to learn how each type of activity differs and video examples of some simple strengthening activities that you can do at home. Moderate intensity physical activities will cause adults to get warmer and breathe harder and their hearts to beat faster, but they should still be able to carry on a conversation. Examples include:
  • Brisk walking
  • Cycling
Vigorous intensity physical activities will cause adults to get warmer and breathe much harder and their hearts to beat rapidly, making it more difficult to carry on a conversation. Examples include:
  • Running
  • Sports such as swimming or football
Muscle strengthening involves using body weight or working against a resistance. This should involve using all the major muscle groups. Examples include:
  • Exercising with weights
  • Carrying or moving heavy loads such as groceries
Minimising sedentary behaviour may include:
  • Reducing time spent watching TV, using the computer or playing video games
  • Taking regular breaks at work
  • Breaking up sedentary time such as swapping a long bus or car journey for walking part of the way

What are the benefits of being active daily?

  • Reduces risk of a range of diseases, e.g. coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Helps maintain ability to perform everyday tasks with ease
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety

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