New physical activity guidelines

The UK’s Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) have released updated guidelines outlining the extensive benefits of physical activity for everyone.

Participants doing strength and balance exercises during a Health Walk

Updated evidence-based physical activity guidelines will help health professionals, policymakers and others working to promote physical activity for health benefits.

Any activity is better than none, and more is better still

The evidence states that the many benefits of being active can occur even at the lowest levels of activity and therefore everyone should be encouraged to do what they can.

Being more active is one of the easiest and most effective ways to live a longer, healthier, happier life. 

UK CMO Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

First produced in 2011 the updated guidelines cover four age groups. Additional guidance is provided for being active during pregnancy and after birth, and for disabled adults.

The updated guidelines continue to support the recommendation that adults should achieve 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate physical activity per week. The health benefits of this are also acknowledged specifically women during and after pregnancy, older adults and for disabled adults. 

For older adults, the importance of regular strength, flexibility and balance activity has been emphasised. Performing these activities two days per week is shown to help to maintain physical function, reduce the risk of falls and delay the decline in muscle mass.

Walking for physical activity

At Paths for All we champion walking as the easiest, cheapest and most accessible way that most people can meet the physical activity guidelines. Our Walking for Health, Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme and Community Paths work all focuses on supporting and creating the right environment for people to be more active. 

You can read more about the updated UK CMO Physical Activity Guidlelines online: