Are You Exercising Enough? Revised Exercise Guidelines You Need to Know

 In Exercise and Health


Many believe that globally people are not exercising enough to derive the benefit that they should from exercise. It is widely accepted that we are in a worldwide global obesity epidemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that (1):

  • Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
  • In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese.
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese.
  • Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
  • 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013.
  • Obesity is preventable.

With such an invasive, global, and destructive epidemic measures must be taken to help slow the tide of this ever growing problem. A good place to start is reviewing exercise habits.


Exercise has long been recognized as an important component of healthy living and of course body weight-management. Given the explosion of obesity globally and in Australia, and also the soaring rates of preventable lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, it’s imperative that nations of the world take stock of their people’s exercise habits.

Interestingly WHO documented that in Australia physical activity levels were sub optimal.

As a physiotherapist I regularly get asked by clients to share my professional opinion regarding their exercise habits. Many people are confused by the over-whelm of health messaging in today’s ubiquitous social media realm, and as a result they are unsure of whether they should be doing more or less exercise.

If you can relate than read on….


In response to the global obesity epidemic in February 2015 Australia’s Department of Health and Ageing released an updated version of our National Activity Guidelines (2). The release of the updated activity guidelines followed what was a long period of extensive review that compared our previous National guidelines with those of other nations. The former National Activity Guidelines were also compared to recent research in order to determine the optimal yet minimum level of activity Australian’s should be undertaking.

As a physiotherapist I actively and whole-heartedly endorse all Australians to undertake regular exercise and physical activity. In fact our governing body’s positioning statement (the Australian Physiotherapy Association) says that as a profession we help people ‘Move Well, and Stay Well’. In other words as physiotherapists nationally we are united in helping people keep moving so they can enjoy and experience the many benefits of exercise.


The key highlights of the new National Guidelines that I believe all Aussies need to be aware of are:

1. An increase in the total amount of physical activity required to maintain health is now recommended by WHO for all Australians.

2. The recommended duration of physical activity has increased from 150 minutes each week to between 150 and 300 minutes. That’s 2.5 to 5 hours each week of exercise. Hence if you walk or jog you need to as a minimum be undertaking this activity for example daily (5 days of the week) for 30mins as  minimum, or ideally for 1hr each day.

3. The addition of 2 weekly strength/resistance training session to a weekly exercise regime. Many people fail to incorporate regular gym or resistance training (eg pilates, exercise physiology) into their weekly fitness regime.

4. Doing some exercise is better than nothing! Just make a start.

5. Aim to be active every day in some way.

6.Limit sitting time. Sitting has a negative effect on our health.

7. Limit screen time on devices such as laptops, and I-devices, tablets etc.

If you are interested in learning more about the guidelines developed for all Australian age groups you can find the full list of Physical and Sedentary Guidelines HERE.


1. Obesity and Overweight:

2. Department of Health -Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines:


Brad Beer (APAM)

Physiotherapist, Founder POGO Physio, Best-selling Author

POGO Physio Gold Coast running book


Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment