Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. It is in contrast to physical inactivity, which is defined as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality recorded worldwide.
A regular Exercise is a form of physical activity
There is a misconception that physical activity is the same as exercising, but the fact is a subset of physical activity that is organized, coordinated, refined, and for a finite purpose in order to improve or maintain one or more elements of fitness. While physical activity includes all exercises and activities that require physical movements, both in the framework of playing, working, household cleaning, recreational activities …etc.
Physical activity for a healthy lifestyle
Regular physical activity is of great importance to maintain the overall health of the body, as it red
Recommended levels of physical activity for health
60 minutes daily for ages 5 to 17 years old: physical activity for more than 60 minutes a day brings additional health benefits.
150 minutes per week for ages 18-64-year-olds: reasonably intense physical activity should be exercised every week for 150 minutes, or at least 75 minutes of strong physical activity or the equivalent of a combination of moderate and strong activity. And to get the greatest possible benefit from physical activity for heart and respiratory health, all activities should be performed on at least 10 minutes intervals.
Adults aged 65 and over: the same as adult recommendations apply to older persons. It is important for adults with impaired mobility to do physical activity 3 days or more per week to enhance balance and avoid falling. In the event that older persons are unable to perform the recommended amount of physical activity due to health conditions, they should maintain their physical activity as their capacity and circumstances permit.
All healthy adults need physical activity
The recommendations of the levels of physical activity of the World Health Organization apply to all people unless otherwise indicated by medical conditions, the recommendation also applies to individuals with chronic non-communicable diseases not related to mobility, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Adults with disabilities should also follow these recommendations.
Some physical activity is better than nothing
Non-active individuals have to start with small amounts of physical activity and gradually increase their duration, frequency, and intensity, which have great health benefits when they become more active. With regard to pregnant women and postpartum women, and people with heart disease should take extra precautions and seek advice before pursuing the recommended levels of physical activity.
Physical activity is an individual and community responsibility
Physical activity does not require special privileges, extra time, or extra money. There are many physical activities that can be included in daily routine activities such as a 10 minutes brisk walk, three times a day, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, riding a bike to work, getting off the bus before reaching the final destination at an appropriate distance and then walking the rest of the way.
The availability of space for physical activities is the cornerstone for encouraging different age groups to increase and practice physical activities at a regular pace, such as providing walking and cycling places and ensuring their safety, and also providing safe spaces and facilities for students in schools to spend their leisure time actively and providing sports and recreational facilities that provide opportunities for everyone to exercise physical activity.
1- World Health Organization, 10 facts on physical activity, January 2017, [online] available at:
2- World Health Organization, Physical activity, [online] available at:
3- World Health Organization , Myths about physical activity, [online] available at: