At a time when many people are home-bound due to Covid-19, new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior emphasize that everyone, of all ages and abilities, can be physically active and that every type of movement counts.

WHO statistics show that one in four adults, and four out of five adolescents, do not get enough physical activity. Some research suggests that even among historically active populations, activity levels have dropped since the pandemic began. Globally, this is estimated to cost $54 billion in direct health care and another $14 billion to lost productivity.

The new guidelines recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week for all adults, including people living with chronic conditions or disability, and an average of 60 minutes per day for children and adolescents. All physical activity is beneficial and can be done as part of work, sport and leisure or transport (walking, wheeling and cycling), but also through dance, play and everyday household tasks, like gardening and cleaning.

WHO encourages countries to adopt the global guidelines to develop national health policies in support of the WHO Global action plan on physical activity 2018-2030. The plan was agreed by global health leaders at the 71st World Health Assembly in 2018 to reduce physical inactivity by 15 percent by 2030.

You can download the 2020 main guideline document (535 pages) here

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