What can I do?
It’s good to follow two rules: (1) be more active and (2) spend less time being sedentary, where you move very little over a large part of your day. Here are some guidelines on both.
Do a mix of different activities during the week that are medium- and high intensity activities.
In general, during medium intensity activity you will be able to talk, but not sing!
During high intensity activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.
You don't have to do it all at once. Choose a variety of activities spread over the week.
If you have a job where you don't move around too much, like a desk job, you need to take special care to build physical activity into everyday life.
- 50 minutes (2.5 hours) of medium to high intensity aerobic physical activity. Aerobic activity makes you breathe harder and gets your heart pumping harder.
- Any activity that you do for 10 minutes or more counts towards your weekly total.
- Add in bone strengthening activities (like climbing stairs) at least two days a week for added benefits.
- 420 minutes (7 hours) of medium to high intensity aerobic physical activity.
- An easy way to do this is to aim for 1 hour of activity each day.
- Add in bone strengthening activities 3 days per week for added benefits.
When you sit or lie down for a long period of time, this is called sedentary behaviour.
Spend more time simply moving around, not being sedentary. Even if you are physically active for 30 – 60 minutes each day, if the rest of your day is spent mostly sitting or being still, you are still at risk for health problems.
Common sedentary behaviours include:
- sitting for long periods of time at school or work;
- using a computer or phone;
- driving or commuting;
- watching TV.
Moving your body more includes doing everyday activities – like housework, grocery shopping or walking to work. It's also important to schedule exercise into your weekly activities.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology has developed guidelines
for how you can reduce your sedentary behaviour and how much activity someone in your age group should get in every 24 hour period.