How much exercise is enough?


The tables below are the recommended physical activity and exercise guidelines from the Australian department of health and aged care.


Children and Adolescence


> 12 months

1 – 5 years

5 – 17 years

Physical Activity

Interactive floor-based play, and at least 30 minutes of tummy time for babies per day.

At least 3 hours of energetic play per day.


At least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous activity involving mainly aerobic activities per day.

Vigorous activities should be incorporated at least 3 days per week.

Several hours of light activities per day.



At least 3 days a week.

Sedentary Time

Do not restrain for more than 1 hour at a time.

Do not restrain for more than 1 hour at a time.

Minimise and break up long periods of sitting.

Adults and Pregnancy


18 – 64 years (Including Pregnancy)

65 years +

Physical Activity

Be active on most (preferably all) days.

Weekly total of 300 minutes, equating to about 42 minutes a day of moderate activity

or 150 minutes a week of vigorous activity

or an equivalent combination of both.  

**Pregnant women should include pelvic floor exercises within this time

At least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most (preferably all) days.



At least 2 days a week.

Do a range of activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance, and flexibility.

Sedentary Time

Minimise and break up long periods of sitting.



What are the benefits?

Both physical activity and strength training improve overall quality of life and general well-being as listed below.



  • Boosts metabolism
  • Decreases the risk of injury
  • Improve range of motion and flexibility
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Improved mood
  • Improves body composition
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Improves mental health
  • Improves physical health
  • Improves posture
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases energy levels
  • Increases bone density
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Manages and prevents diabetes
  • Manages and prevents heart disease
  • Reduces the risk of some cancers
  • Prevents strokes
  • Reduces stress
  • Weight loss


So what does this look like?


Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by the skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Basically, anything that raises your heartrate. This could include things you do in your work role, how you get to and from destinations or how you choose to spend your leisure time.


Simple ways to incorporate more physical activity into your day:


  • Cleaning the house
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Face to face discussions with co-workers instead of calling or emailing
  • Parking further away from your destination
  • Recreational hobbies
  • Social or competitive sports
  • Taking the stairs instead of elevators or escalators
  • Use the furthest toilet from your desk
  • Walk during your lunch break
  • Walking or cycling to work
  • Walking your dog
  • Walking whilst talking on the phone


Strength training suggestions:


  • Body weight exercises
  • Carrying the groceries home or to the car
  • Free weights such as dumbbells or barbells
  • Group fitness classes
  • Gym equipment at your local park
  • Personal trainers
  • Pilates; mat or reformer
  • Resistance bands
  • Resistance machines
  • Workout apps
  • YouTube home workouts


It can be challenging to change your routine and to find the time to incorporate more exercise. It is always best to start with small achievable goals. This might be adding an extra walk to your week, parking in the furthest car spot or making plans to exercise with a friend to keep you accountable. Any small changes towards achieving the recommended amount of exercise are good changes. Your health will benefit from doing so.


If you need guidance on how to safely achieve your physical activity and strength exercise recommendations, please book in with one of our Physiotherapists at Mount Lawley Physiotherapy and Podiatry.