New Physical Activity Guidelines Released

Schools News


New Australian Physical Activity Guidelines were released on the 7th of February this year. 

The new guidelines place a greater emphasis on highlighting the importance of a variety of aerobic and other exercise.  There is also a much greater emphasis on the importance of minimising sedentary behaviour. 

Here are some interesting and concerning stats to really get you thinking.

The Australian Health Survey 2011-12 indicates that:

  • Only one-third of children, and one in ten young people undertook the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • 60% of Australian adults did less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day.
  • Fewer than one in three children and young people (5-17 year olds) met the “no more than 2 hours of screen-based entertainment” every day.
  • Nearly 70% of Australian adults (i.e. almost 12 million adults) are either sedentary or have low levels of physical activity.


  • Physical inactivity and low levels of physical activity is the fourth leading cause of death due to non-communicable disease worldwide – contributing to over three million preventable deaths annually (6% of deaths globally).
  • Physical inactivity is the second greatest contributor, behind tobacco smoking, to the cancer burden in Australia.

Global Health Risks: mortality ad burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. World Health Organization, 2009.


Doing enough physical activity is not just about weight control and reducing chronic disease risk, there are great mental health benefits and it improves your quality of life.  If you are fitter, stronger, more flexible and healthier, you can get more out of everyday!

Physical Activity Guideline resources are available from the Australian Government Department of Health – 

You could also check out the Queensland Government Daily Physical Activity Guide for Schools –


Summary of the new guidelines for children (over 5 years) and young people:

•For health benefits, accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
•Physical activity should include a variety of aerobic activities, including some vigorous intensity activity.
•On at least three days per week, engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone.
•To achieve additional health benefits, engage in more activity – up to several hours per day.

Summary of sedentary behaviour guidelines for children (over 5 years) and young people:
•To reduce health risks,  minimise the time they spend being sedentary every day. To achieve this:

  • Limit use of electronic media for entertainment (e.g. television, seated electronic games and computer use) to no more than two hours a day – lower levels are associated with reduced health risks.
  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.