Physical activity plays a vital role in keeping us all healthy, so it is very important to be physically active on a regular basis.

In general, the more we do, the greater the benefit, so let’s get moving!

The information in this section How much physical activity do I need will cover:

Are we meeeting the government guidelines for physical activity?

Currently in the UK however a large percentage of the population are not meeting the recommendations for physical activity to keep healthy, and being inactive is a problem at every age.

The table below shows the physical activity recommendations and the percentage of the population that meets them in England and Scotland.

Age Recommendation Percentage  meeting recommendation 
 CHILDREN   Male Female
2-4 years at least 180 minutes (3 hours), spread throughout the day 9% 10%
5-10 years at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day 25% 20%
11-15 years at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day 17% 11%
ADULTS      
19–64 years Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity 67% 55%
65+ years Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity

Age 65 – 74

58%

Age 75+

36%

Age 65 – 74

52%

Age 75+

18%

Source: British Heart Foundation (2015) Physical Activity Statistics 2015. https://www.bhf.org.uk/publications/statistics/physical-activity-statistics-2015#

Next: Benefits of physical activity