Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines - Are you active enough?

Male Office Worker walking up stairs at work

Being a city based practice, at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre we have a large proportion of clients who are office workers.

As a consequence we are often discussing the appropriate physical activity levels for, and the sedentary behaviours of workers who are predominantly desk based.

We need to bear in mind that over 50% of adult Australians have activity levels that are too low.

The current Australian guidelines are as follows:-

Physical Activity Guidelines

  • Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
  • Be active on most, preferably all days every week.
  • 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.
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.

Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines

  • Minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.

Up until now there have been minimal quantifiable guidelines regarding how active we should be whilst at work. However after a thorough review of the current research the following guidelines have recently been established:

“.. for those occupations which are predominantly desk based, workers should aim to initially progress towards accumulating 2 hours/day of standing and light activity (light walking) during working hours, eventually progressing to a total accumulation of 4 hours/day (pro-rated to part-time hours). To achieve this, seated-based work should be regularly broken up with standing-based work, the use of sit–stand desks, or the taking of short active standing breaks…”

So the message is clear that for most people it is important to move more and sit less both at and away from work.

For more information see the Make your move - Sit Less - Be active for Life! brochure produced by the Department of Health.

If you are new to physical activity, trying out a new activity, or are concerned about the safety of being more active, you should speak with one of our Physiotherapists for advice.  

To arrange an appointment please phone 9650 9372 or book online.