Today Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, Edgecliff, Marrickville, Bella VistaRandwickLindfield and Balmain look at what incidental physical activity actually means.

So what does incidental physical activity actually mean?

As defined by the Department of Health, ‘incidental physical activity is unstructured activity taken during the day, such as walking for transport, housework and the performance of activities of daily living’. Performing any task that is NOT structured i.e. exercise class, going to the gym, going cycling etc would be considered incidental physical activity. Incidental activity doesn’t replace structured exercise though, it is important to achieve a balance of both.

So why is this important?

There are many reasons why incidental activity is beneficial for health which include:

  • Breaking up long periods of sitting or stationary positions
  • Circulate blood around the body to help with joint health
  • Help achieve the recommended 10 000 steps per day
  • If doing things vigorously e.g. housework or cleaning it can increase heart rate and become more moderate intensity exercise
  • Help to prevent lifestyle conditions associated with being sedentary e.g. type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease

Many people who have office jobs or are sedentary during the day, will perform a structured exercise session once per day and think this is enough to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. As we know it’s important to keep moving throughout the day and avoid hours and hours of sitting as this can have a significant impact on your metabolic and joint health over time.

If you are struggling to find a balance between incidental and structured exercise or are unsure where to start, speak to one of our friendly exercise physiologists today.

Contact Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain, Bella Vista on 1300 964 002 to enquire today.

Written by Susannah Mah-Chut


Australian Government Department of Health, Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour, Department of Health, Retrieved on 20/01/2021,,of%20activities%20of%20daily%20living.&text=The%20term%20’sufficient%20physical%20activity,the%20National%20Physical%20Activity%20Guidelines.