WHO: New Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidelines on recommended amounts of physical activity, and for the first time, adverse outcomes associated with sedentary behavior.
“These 2020 WHO guidelines update previous WHO recommendations released in 2010. They reaffirm messages that some physical activity is better than none, that more physical activity is better for optimal health outcomes and provide a new recommendation on reducing sedentary behaviors,” wrote the Guideline Development Group, comprised of experts who reviewed evidence of the associations of activity levels, health outcomes, and population groups.
Also included in this update are new recommendations for pregnant and postpartum women, as well as people living with chronic conditions or disability. In addition to these new specific subpopulation groups, the update also addressed children, adolescents, adults, and older adults.
The results indicated that per week, adults should undertake:
- 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity
- 75-100 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity
- A combination of the two
In comparison, children were recommended to undertake an average of 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity per week.
All age groups were recommended to complete regular muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week and were to reduce sedentary behaviors. However, it is noted that there was insufficient evidence to determine the cutoff amount for sedentary time.
“These guidelines highlight the importance of regularly undertaking both aerobic and muscle strengthening activities and for the first time, there are specific recommendations for specific populations including for pregnant and postpartum women and people living with chronic conditions or disability,” the group concluded. “These guidelines should be used to inform national health policies aligned with the WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018–2030 and to strengthen surveillance systems that track progress towards national and global targets.”
- Bull FC, Al-Ansari SS, Biddle S, et al. World Health Organization 2020 guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior. Br J Sports Med. 2020; 54: 1451-1462. Doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-102955