How much and what type of physical exercise is needed at each age, according to the WHO

He presented the new physical activity guidelines and warned that they must be maintained even in a pandemic.

Regular physical activity has multiple proven benefits: it is key to preventing and helping control heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, as well as reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, cognitive decline, improving memory, and stimulating brain health. Despite this, the majority of people globally do not exercise enough, a deficit that worsened in the framework of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned during the launch of new recommendations related to the movement.

Some data that help to measure the magnitude of the problem: worldwide, 1 in 4 adults and 4 in 5 adolescents do not reach the recommended levels of physical activity and sedentary people have a 20% to 30% higher risk of death compared to those who meet the recommended exercise “quota”, Globally, this is estimated to cost $ 54 billion in direct health care and another 14,000 million in lost productivity.

According to the WHO, they could be avoided up to 5 million deaths per year if the world population moved more. “At a time when many people are homebound due to Covid-19, the new WHO Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior emphasize that everyone, of all ages and abilities, can be physically active and that every type movement counts, “said the WHO through a statement.

The new guidelines recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week for all adults, including people living with chronic conditions or disabilities, and an average of 60 minutes per day for children and teenagers.

The document, which includes specific recommendations for pregnant or postpartum women, as well as for people with chronic diseases and for those living with disabilities, advises substituting sedentary activities for physical exercise as much as possible.

Older adults (65 years and older) are encouraged to add activities that emphasize balance and coordination, as well as muscle strengthening, to help prevent falls and improve health.

“Physical activity is essential for health and well-being; it can help add years to life and life to years“said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He added:” Every move counts, especially now that we handle the limitations of the Covid-19 pandemic. We all need to move every day, safely and creatively. “

All physical activity is beneficial and can be done as part of work, sport and leisure or transportation (walking, biking, and cycling), but also through dancing, playing, and everyday household chores, such as gardening and cleaning, require from the WHO.

“Physical activity of any kind and of any duration can improve health and well-being, but more is always better“said Ruediger Krech, WHO Director of Health Promotion.” And if you have to spend a lot of time sitting still, either at work or at school, you should be more physically active to counter the harmful effects of sedentary behavior, “he warned.

“These new guidelines highlight how important being active is to our hearts, bodies, and minds, and how favorable outcomes benefit everyone of all ages and abilities,” said Fiona Bull, head of the Physical Activity Unit who led the development of new WHO guidelines.

WHO guidelines and recommendations provide details for different age groups and specific population groups on how much physical activity is needed for good health.

In a 24-hour day, babies (under 1 year old) should:

✔ Be physically active several times a day in a variety of ways, particularly through interactive play on the floor; more is better. For those still not moving, this includes at least 30 minutes in a tummy position, spread throughout the day while awake.

✔ Should not be restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (for example, strollers / strollers, high chairs or strapped to the back of a caregiver).

-Screen time is not recommended.

-When sedentary, a caregiver is encouraged to read and tell stories to you.

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