Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick care about their members and encourage each and everyone of them to do more outside of their sessions to meet the physical activity guidelines and to better improve their health.


Did you know that more than half of all Australian adults do less than the recommended 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day?


In today’s blog, we review and discuss the Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines.


It is well evidenced that following these guidelines is associated with lower blood pressure, blood glucose levels, heart disease and diabetes risk; improved mental health and quality of life; improved balance, coordination, muscle strength and joint mobility… and many more health benefits!


What is Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour?

Physical activity is any activity that gets the body moving, makes breathing become quicker, and the heart beat faster. Sedentary behaviour is sitting or lying down for long periods of time (excluding sleep).


Moderate Intensity Activities cause a small increase in breathing and heart rate, but you are still able to talk while doing them. E.g. a brisk walk, recreational swimming, golf, household tasks like vacuuming or raking leaves.

Vigorous Intensity Activities make you breathe harder and faster (‘huff and puff’). E.g. jogging, fast cycling, many organised sports and tasks that involve lifting or carrying.


What about Exercise?


Exercise is a physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful.  Whilst there are many ways to be physically active, engaging in exercise ensures we meet the guidelines because we can schedule it into our week in advance, and set aside time, without distractions, for getting it done.


Physical Inactivity versus Sedentary Behaviour?

It is important to note that physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour are not the same thing and there are different guidelines for each. For instance, someone can do enough physical activity to meet the guidelines, but still be considered sedentary if a large amount of their day is spent sitting or lying down.

It can be hard to reduce sedentary behaviour when working in an office or traveling a lot for work, so here are some ideas to try this week:

  • Walk around when taking a phone call.
  • Stand on public transport and get off one stop earlier than your destination.
  • Instead of sitting and reading, stand while you read or listen to recorded books while you walk.
  • Deliver a message in person, instead of by email.

Have a look at the table below and ask yourself, are you meeting the Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for your age group?


  Physical Activity Sedentary Behaviour Sleep
Children and Young People (5-17 years)


·     Accumulate 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day, involving mainly aerobic activities.

·     Muscle and bone strengthening activities incorporated at least 3 days per week.

·       No more than 2 hours per day of sedentary recreational screen time.

·       Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.

·       9-11 hours of sleep per night for those aged 5-13 years and 8-10 hours for those aged 14-17 years.
Adults (18-64 years)


·     Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.

·     Muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.

·       Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.


·       7-9 hours of sleep per night.


65 years and older ·     Accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.

·     Be active in as many ways as possible, i.e. incorporate aerobic, strength, balance and flexibility exercises.

·       Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.


·   7-8 hours of sleep per night.



Remember! Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you are not currently physically active, start by doing some, and then gradually build up to the recommended amount.

If you are new to physical activity or exercise, have a health concern, or are interested in increasing your activity levels, the Exercise Physiologists at Longevity Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick are here to help!

Written by Courtney Maher