Assess your activity status

Am I active enough for health?

How much health benefit depends on how much you do? Only aerobic activity counts. Aerobic activity is any type of large body movement that makes your heart and lungs work faster – moderate intensity activity may make you feel warm, mildly out of breath and mildly sweaty (find out more about intensity levels).

Work out your current ‘activity status’ by calculating your average weekly amount and see how much health benefit you are gaining.

  • On average, how many days per week do you engage in moderate or greater physical activity (like a brisk walk) lasting at least 10 minutes?
  • On those days, how many minutes do you engage in activity at this level?
  • Combine the two measures to arrive at an average minutes per week of activity.

    A small amount of activity is better than none but you should aim to be doing at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Some people do a mixture of moderate-intensity and vigorous intensity activity in a week. The ‘rule of thumb’ is that 1 minute of vigorous intensity activity counts the same as 2 minutes of moderate intensity activity. 1

    This table shows the levels of health benefit gained with time spent on activity:

    Activity amount (minutes and type) Status Health benefits gained
    0 Inactive None
    Less than 150 minutes of moderate activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous activity) Low activity Some
    150-300 minutes of moderate activity (or 75-150 minutes of vigorous activity) Medium activity Substantial
    More than 300 minutes of moderate activity (or 150 minutes of vigorous activity) High activity More than substantial

    Your health practitioner may use a screening tool called GPPAQ to assess your physical activity level.

    References:

    1. Adapted from Department of Health and Human Services (2008) Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services.

    Now continue onto the physical activity recommendation page…

    Physical Acitivity Recommendation

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