Experts call for exercise realism

Risk factors

20 Jan 2015

Physical activity guidelines should focus on getting inactive people to do a little activity rather than strive for the entire population to meet the current target of 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, experts say.

Two articles published in this week’s BMJ argue that the 150 minute target is beyond the reach of many, especially for older people. Instead, we should promote the benefits of small increases in daily physical activity.

The authors of one of the papers that included Professors David Dunstan and Neville Owen from Baker IDI in Melbourne said they were not proposing that the 150 minute a week standard be abandoned.

“Rather, our purpose is to remind colleagues that a broad perspective to counselling is already embedded in the guidelines and that a whole data approach for older sedentary patients may help them move towards the recommended activity levels,” they said.

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