Sport: this is the minimum number of minutes of exercise per week

WHO recommendations One hour of exercise is not enough: This is how much you should move to live a healthier life

The World Health Organization (WHO) published alarming figures in 2018: 1.4 billion people worldwide do not exercise enough and risk long-term illnesses. Too little sport and exercise is a "leading risk factor" for diseases such as diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular disease, warns the WHO in the journal "The Lancet Health Journal. Women are particularly affected by this problem: One in three women doesn’t exercise enough, according to the experts. For men, it is still one in four. Corona and sedentary work in the home office are likely to have additionally fueled this development.

The solution to this problem is simple: Lace up your running shoes more often at the weekend and get out into the fresh air. Or leave the car in the morning and cycle to work instead. As a general rule, any additional form of exercise is useful to begin with. But is this amount of exercise enough?? And from how many minutes of exercise a week, health effects can be expected? There are clear recommendations from the WHO depending on age. An overview.

Age group 5 to 17 years

What does physical activity mean in this age group?

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School sports, sports with the family and exercise such as running or cycling. Kids and teens love to run around and play. This also counts toward the physical activity account.

How much exercise should there be?

According to the WHO, children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (cycling) or more intensive exercise (school sports) per day. However, more than 60 minutes a day is better, according to health experts.

What health effects can be expected?

The muscles and bones develop healthily, the metabolism works effectively. Improved heart and lung performance. In addition, active children suffer less from anxiety and depression symptoms.

Age group 18 to 64

What does physical activity mean in this age group?

Recreational activities such as hiking and locomotion such as running or cycling. Household chores such as vacuuming or window cleaning or exercise at work are also included. Also, sports classes such as yoga, team sports or visits to the gym.

How much exercise should there be?

An adult should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as cycling or swimming. The alternative: 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise such as jogging or team sports. However, these are only the figures for "sufficient" time Physical activity. To improve health, the workload should be doubled in each case – the equivalent of 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 150 minutes of intense exercise per week. Ideally, exercise should be done in such a way that large muscle groups are targeted at least two days a week.

What health effects can be expected?

Heart and lung performance improves. Muscle strength increases. It also reduces the risk of depression and non-infectious diseases.

Age group over 65

What does physical activity mean in this age group?

Housework, running, hiking, cycling, team sports or exercise in the gym, as well as exercise at work.

How much exercise should there be?

The same recommendations apply to healthy older people as to adults: at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise should be done. Even better is to double this workload. Large muscle groups should be exercised at least two days a week.

Building muscle: A woman works out in the gym

People with physical limitations should exercise at least three days a week to maintain balance and prevent falls. If there are other health problems that speak against sport, older people should be as physically active "as their abilities and condition allow", according to the WHO.

What health effects can be expected?

Heart, lungs, muscles are strengthened, bones remain healthy. Also reduces the risk of non-infectious diseases and depression. Cognitive abilities, such as memory and attention, are supported.

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