How much (exercise) is enough?

Published: 12 Sep 2016

How much (exercise) is enough?

Did you know that more than half of Australia adults are not active enough?

If you don’t know the amount of exercise recommended each week, or if your lifestyle involves very little physical activity, keep reading to discover some benefits of being active and tips to get you moving.

Physical activity includes anything that:

  • gets you moving,
  • gets your heart rate higher and
  • makes you breathe faster.

Generally, by moving more and resting less you can reduce your risk OR help manage;

Furthermore regular activity wil maintain or improve:

  • blood pressure,
  • cholesterol,
  • blood sugar levels and
  • help prevent unhealthy weight gain whilst building stronger muscles and bones.

If that is not enough physical perks for your body, you should also know that moving can prevent and manage mental health problems also.

Physical inactivity is the second greatest contributor, behind tobacco smoking, to the cancer burden in Australia. This is a scary thought considering that 56% of Australians (all 9.5 million of them) are inactive or have low levels of physical activity.

So how much activity is enough?

  • Australian Guidelines recommend between 150 to 300 minutes (2.5 to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity OR 75 to 150 minutes (1.25 to 2.5 hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity OR the equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
  • It is also recommended to complete strengthening activities on at least 2 days per week.

Moderate level activity involves some effort however you are still able to maintain a conversation whilst doing this. Vigorous activity requires more effort and will make you ‘huff and puff’. It is important to know that:

doing any physical activity is better than doing none.

Here are a few tips as to improve your chances of moving:

  • Set an alarm during any seated/ computer work to remind you to stand more often.
  • Use the stairs instead of the lift
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier so you can walk part of the way
  • Leave the car at home
  • Walk to deliver a message to a colleague instead of phoning or emailing them
  • Catch up with friends for a walk rather than a coffee (and here’s a great article about walking)
  • Try indoor activities when the weather isn’t great (squash, rock climbing, gym class)

If you are new to physical activity or have a health problem or are concerned about your safety of you being active, feel free to contact us, or book in with one of our Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologist for some guidance and suggestions on the most suitable activities for you.


  2. Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years)