Physical Activity Recommendations

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, for adults.



Guidelines for Adults

• All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.

• For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

• For additional and more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorousintensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorousintensity activity. Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond this amount.

• Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.

Guidelines for Children and Adolescents

• Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity daily. Aerobic: Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.

• Muscle-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week. • Bone-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.

• It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.


Smartphones can deliver new insights about key health behaviours

Stanford University researchers, in a large-scale study funded by the National Institutes of Health, report that they have tracked the physical activity by population in more than 100 countries, using daily step data from participants’ smartphones.

Physical Activity Tracking


Results from the study, published recently in Nature, reveal targets for obesity prevention and the wisdom of walkable communities.

Globally, the average user recorded about 5,000 steps per day. The smartphone data reflected the degree of difference, or inequality, for activity among people within a given country. By comparing countries with more uniform activity patterns and those with unequal activity, certain patterns and health dynamics emerged. For instance, countries with the greatest activity inequality are also the countries with the greatest obesity problem.

They studied a dataset consisting of 68 million days of physical activity for 717,527 people, giving them a window into activity in 111 countries across the globe. The researchers found inequality in how activity is distributed within countries and that this inequality is a better predictor of obesity prevalence in the population than average activity volume. Reduced activity in females contributes to a large portion of the observed activity inequality. Aspects of the built environment, such as the walkability of a city, are associated with a smaller gender gap in activity and lower activity inequality. In more walkable cities, activity is greater throughout the day and throughout the week, across age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) groups, with the greatest increases in activity found for females. The findings have implications for global public health policy and urban planning and highlight the role of activity inequality and the built environment in improving physical activity and health.

Physical Activity across de world (Source: Nature)

Physical Inactivity

This study presents a new paradigm for population activity studies by demonstrating that smartphones can deliver new insights about key health behaviours.

Access to Nature article.

20 Ways to Add Physical Activity to Your Day

The Employee Wellness team at the University of Vermont Medical Center has launched ONE SMALL THING Program to promote a healthy lifestyle.

One Small Thing - Physical Activity & Nutrition Program

They suggest 20 ways to add physical activity to your day.

  1. Here’s an activity that’s always right at your fingertips — or should we say, toe-tips? Walking. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes. Choose a favorite place to walk, or grab a co-worker and go for a walk around the office.
  2. Take the “long cut” instead of a short cut. A long cut means creating a longer walking route to your destinations so you can build in more time in your day to move.
  3. Find some exercises you can do during a TV commercial break. You can stretch, do lunges, or even try some sit-ups.
  4. If you work in an office, you can still stay active. Stand up instead of sitting down. Stretch throughout the day. And take the stairs when you can. Set an alarm a couple of times a day to remind yourself to move.
  5. Concerned that adding more physical activity to your life might come at your family’s expense? Be active WITH your family. Play catch together. Go for a walk. Shoot hoops.
  6. Next time you and a significant other are getting away for the evening, try dinner and a walk instead of dinner and a movie. It’s a great time to connect while you generate some energizing movement.
  7. Parking your car 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 of a mile away from your job or an appointment can add a lot of convenient walking into your daily routine. Experiment with this idea and see how it works for you.
  8. Be intentional! Whatever activity you enjoy, schedule it on your computer or smartphone with a calendar alert that reminds you to get up and move.
  9. Parents who drop their kids at soccer practice can squeeze activity into their schedule naturally. Go for a run around your child’s field as you wait. Walk up and down the bleachers. You deserve to move, too!
  10. Got a meeting at the office? Take your colleagues for a walk. If you need to take notes, use the recording app on your smartphone and you won’t forget anything.
  11. Whenever you need a boost of energy, close the door, turn up the music, and crank up your heart rate by dancing.
  12. Sometimes, you need to fill your lungs with fresh air. So give yourself the gift of getting outside — to a park, on a wooded trail, or just outside the building where you work. Even 2-10 minutes will do wonders.
  13. Chores don’t have to just be chores. Vacuuming the house, mowing the lawn, and washing the car all count as great physical activities that you can add to your life and add life to your day!
  14. Giving your dog the exercise he needs can help you get a boost of energizing activity. So get the leash and head out the door.
  15. Got a minute? Set a timer and do a high-energy activity you like — jumping rope, doing lunges, running in place. Scientific studies show that 60 seconds of strenuous exertion prove to be as successful at improving health and fitness as 45 minutes of moderate exercise.
  16. Remember having fun in little league? Team sports aren’t just for kids. Call up friends and get a game going. Get on a team. Maybe even join a quidditch league, unless you’re a muggle.
  17. When it’s time for a call, get off the sofa or out of your chair. Stand or walk around your house or office as you talk.
  18. Not every physical activity has to elevate your heartbeat. So stroll around the neighborhood after dinner instead of sitting on the sofa. It’s a great transition to the rest of your night.
  19. Go to the playground with your family. The swings and the monkey bars are just some of ways we used to get exercise as kids…and they still count as adults.
  20. Research shows that sitting for a long time may be bad for your health. So take any activity you’d normally do sitting down — a meeting, watching TV, sitting in the bleachers — and stand up. Even just standing counts toward better health.

See the video:

Acces the Program:

Physical Inactivity in UK

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has compiled this report using the latest health statistics to provide a comprehensive overview of levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in adults across the UK. The data in this report suggests that large numbers of people in the UK are still failing to meet recommendations for physical activity, putting them at greater risk of heart and circulatory disease.


Around 20 million adults in the UK are physically inactive.

Physical inactivity is a global health crisis, responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths worldwide.

The impact of physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles also weighs heavily on UK healthcare, estimated to cost
as much as £1.2 billion a year.

Physical Inactivity UK

RunnerSquare encourages and promotes Physical Activity. We strongly  believe future of healthcare is based on prevention, not on pills. Physical Activity is key. We invite you to join us by choosing any of the montly Physical Activity Challenges we suggest you.

Physical Activity Almanac Released

Late last year the Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA), a council of the International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH), released its first Physical Activity Almanac.  The document summarizes physical activity indicators including surveillance, policy, research, and deaths due to physical inactivity through a set of 139 graphical Country Cards.  The full document can be accessed here.

According to this data, in USA 10.8% of all deaths are due to inactivity.

Physical Activity Almanac


The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention provide complementary data:

More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity. [Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief PDF-704KB]

Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. [Read guidelines]

The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Our wishes for 2017: Good Health and Well-Being

Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of deaths due to non communicable disease (NCDs) worldwide – heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancers – and each year contributes to over three million preventable deaths.
Goals to Transform our World
Physical inactivity is related (directly and indirectly) to the other leading risk factors for NCDs such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high glucose levels; and,
to the recent striking increases in childhood and adult obesity
, not only in developed countries but also in many developing countries.
Substantial scientific evidence supports the importance of
physical inactivity as a risk factor for NCD independent
of poor diet, smoking and alcohol misuse.
Physical activity has comprehensive health benefits across the
lifespan: It promotes healthy growth and development in children and young people, helps to prevent unhealthy mid-life weight gain, and is important for healthy ageing, improving and maintaining quality of life and independence in older adults.
The most recent global estimates indicate that 60% of the
world population are exposed to health risks due to inactivity.
Our wishes for 2017 is Keep Yourself Healthy and Enjoy doing Physical Activity. 

Lifestyle changes that make a difference to your performance and wellbeing

We know making a change in your day to day routine can feel like moving a mountain but they make a difference and although some are more challenging than others they are simple enough to slowly integrate into your life. These simple changes make a powerful difference in your day to day health and performance as a new or experienced athlete.


Planning it out will help you stay on track, pick one a week or bi-weekly to begin integrating into your daily schedule.


  • Sleep is so important.  When you’re tired you are less likely to be motivated to prepare your meals ahead of time, exercise or even be your most productive self.  Sleeplessness can be quite counterproductive.  Try to go to bed at the same time each night, power down the electronics at least one hour before bedtime, dim the lights, ditch caffeine by 3:00, and try to rise at the same time each day.
    • We like to power down with a quick yoga routine or a nice book.
  • Eat healthfully: You know the drill! Shop the perimeter of the store (fruits, veggies, meats), try to buy organic when you can, keep your foods simple, look for items that don’t need an ingredients list, eat lean proteins, whole grains (if you do grains), and keep your diet heavy on the veggies.
    • Ever tried Kale Chips? Eating vegetables just got better. (Recipe Below)
  • Water: drink half your bodyweight in ounces – add more for hot weather or sweaty activities.
    • Slice lemons, cucumbers, fresh mint or even make some caffeine free iced tea.


  • Exercise: some is always better than none.  Try for at least three days per week, but preferably five days.
    • Go for a run with a friend or by yourself to clear your mind, soak up Vitamin D and get some fresh air.
  • REPEAT! Consistency is key!


A healthy lifestyle is merely a series of healthy habits. We all have habits and routines we follow daily whether we think about them or not. Over time they become as natural as brushing your teeth – you feel off if you don’t do it!


Keep yourself organized so you don’t feel stressed out about adding these activities to your schedule.  Use a planner, your cell phone to help you keep a To-Do List or whatever method works for you.  Set up a rough schedule at the beginning of your week before you go grocery shopping or during the weekend when your work stress is at a minimum.


Kale Chips Recipe:


  • 1/2 bunch kale leaves (if you buy from Trader Joes they come pre-cut)
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, pink Himalayan sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove leaves from the stems of the kale and roughly tear it up into large pieces. Wash and spin the leaves until thoroughly dry.
  3. Add kale leaves into a large bowl. Massage in the oil until all the nooks and crannies are coated in oil — free moisturizer for your hands. Now sprinkle on the spices/seasonings and toss to combine.
  4. Spread out the kale onto the prepared baking sheet into a single layer, being sure not to overcrowd the kale.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 12-15 minutes more until the kale begins to firm up. The kale will look shrunken, but this is normal. We bake it for 20-25 mins. total in the oven.
  6. Cool for just a few minutes  and then eat immediately! (they lose crispness with time.)