Physical activity guidelines

Physical activity guidelines

In July 2011 the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) published physical activity guidelines in a joint CMO report Start Active, Stay Active covering early years, children and young people, adults and older adults.

These guidelines have a renewed focus on being active every day and spell out the recommended minimum levels of activity for each age group.

Start Active, Stay Active updates the existing guidelines for children, young people and adults, and includes for the first time in the UK, guidelines for early years and older people. The flexibility of the guidelines creates new ways to achieve the health benefits of an active lifestyle, while retaining a strong link to previous recommendations. For all age groups, they highlight the risks of excessive sedentary behaviour, which exist independently of any overall volume of physical activity.

Download Start Active, Stay Active: a report on physical activity for health from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers


What next?

The guidelines in Start Active, Stay Active are evidence-based statements on the recommended levels of physical activity for each age group. To be truly effective these guidelines now need to be translated into appropriate ‘messages’ and be disseminated through a wide range of communication channels and to a variety of different audiences. 

To find out more about the guidelines for each age group, relevant support and how to use the guidelines in practice please use the navigation on the left.