On Thursday November 26th the World Health Organisation launched their Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour under the title of “Every Move Counts”. The guidelines highlight that any physical activity of any intensity counts and is good for health.

The Guidelines recommend that adults get between 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity weekly and that children participate in 60 minutes daily of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. The guidelines also look for the first time at sedentary behaviour which can be detrimental to health and recommend that these behaviours be reduced for all age groups and abilities.

Dr Fiona Bull, WHO Head of Unit for Physical Activity, detailed the benefits of physical activity for protecting and improving good health for hearts, bodies and minds. Furthermore, Dr Bull highlighted that, “everyone has the opportunity to be more physically active” with the message to #BeActive. She emphasised that physical activity plays a key role for people of all ages, from those who are pregnant to those living with disabilities and chronic diseases.  

The new WHO Guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour are a seminal document and demonstrate the importance of being physically active for leading a healthy life. With the pandemic impacting activity levels across the globe it is more important than ever that governments and physical activity stakeholders work together in promoting physical activity for all.  

For more information on the guidelines, check out the BMJ question and answer podcast with Dr Fiona Bull and Dr Juana Willumsen and the British Journal of Sports Medicine: Special Guidelines issue.





Dec 3, 2020 By Pauline Joskin