10 minutes? Half an hour? 60 minutes or 90 minutes? How much physical activity is enough? What does it mean for the average American when an organization or professional issues a physical activity recommendation?
Lack of physical activity is a major public health problem. There is compelling scientific evidence to suggest that lack of regular physical activity is a factor in many chronic illnesses and conditions. Awareness of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle has led several groups to make recommendations for physical activity. With so many different institutions and organizations distributing guidelines for different types of physical activity programs, the general public can be confused about which guidelines to follow. To make this information easier to understand, let’s take a look at some of the most prominent organizations that make recommendations and then explain how to apply the information in some common and special situations.
Surgeons in general, 1996-All adults are required to achieve at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity. This is equivalent to walking actively on most, if not all, days of the week. This report and recommendations are important because they are the first health-specific physical activity recommendations and scientifically link the role of physical activity in health and disease prevention.
American College of Sports Medicine and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1996-All adults need to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. Physical activity can be accumulated in three exercises for 10 minutes and can be as effective as 30 minutes at a time. This report is very similar to the Surgeon’s recommendation, but it is important because it focuses on new science and reports that the activity takes place in short seizures and still has significant health benefits. Many Americans cite lack of time as a reason for their physical inactivity. This report shows that it can be more active in just 10 minutes at a time.
Subjects: Institute of Medicine (IOM), 2002 Adults should undergo at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity daily. The 60-minute IOM recommendation is to prevent weight gain and is associated with additional weight-related health problems. Their recommendation for weight loss is 90 minutes a day. This recommendation was part of a larger report focusing on weight management recommendations. This recommendation should be considered as a complement to the Surgeon President’s recommendation.
American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, 2007-Healthy adults under the age of 65 do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, or 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week. Perform active aerobic exercise every day. Also, for 8-10 strength training exercises, repeat each exercise 8-12 times at least twice a week. They state that 60-90 minutes of physical activity may be required to lose weight or maintain weight loss.
U.S. Health and Human Services, 2008-This report recommends that adults perform moderate aerobic exercise for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week and strengthening activities two days a week. Published by the United States Federal Government, this latest report incorporates the latest scientific reviews of the benefits of physical activity. 2 hours and 30 minutes a week is equivalent to 30 minutes 5 days a week. As mentioned in the previous section, physical activity can be accumulated.
What does that mean?
Here are some of the basic takeaway messages from the recommendations:
Regular physical activity is important for health and illness-fighting traits, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to support this.
Whether you accumulate physical activity for at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes a day or 2 hours and 30 minutes throughout the week depends on what is best for you. Both recommendations support the ability to accumulate physical activity, but the benefits require at least 10 minutes of seizures.
If your goal is to lose weight, we recommend a high number of 60-90 minutes. However, if you are inactive or just getting started, you should start with a smaller amount and work on it.
About health benefits:
Adults should perform moderate intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes at least 5 days a week, or moderate effort aerobic exercise for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week.
Adults may accumulate the recommended amount of moderate intensity physical activity with a 10-minute seizure throughout the day or week. However, it is important to note that the evidence for doing this is that 10 minutes is the threshold for profit.
Adults who can exercise hard can get health benefits in a short amount of time a week. 20 minutes 3 days a week.