How much movement is right for me?
Find out the benefits of movement for managing health conditions, plus physical activity guidelines for pregnancy, and young children through to older adults.
Being physically active is important for all of us.
We all need a minimum level of movement, which can help to:
- protect you against developing diseases including heart conditions, dementia, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
- manage your existing conditions, including cancers, heart diseases, arthritis and back pain
- improve and manage your mental health
These guidelines include activities that both keep your heart healthy and your muscles and bones strong. You can find the right advice for you and your family below:
- exercise in pregnancy guidelines
- physical activity guidelines for children under 5 years
- physical activity guidelines for 5 to 18 year olds
- physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64
- physical activity guidelines for older adults
The amount of movement recommended may seem overwhelming at first - don’t be put off! Our advice is to gradually build up the amount that you do in an activity that you enjoy.
Advice for people living with disabilities and long-term conditions
Moving more is an important part of managing long term conditions. You can find more advice for different conditions below:
- managing a range of health conditions and finding ways to be active
- staying active if you are living with cancer
- keeping active with a lung conditions
- staying active with heart and circulatory conditions
- advice on moving more if you have arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions
- tips for keeping active if you have dementia
- physical activity and mental health.
Moving more after COVID-19
COVID-19 leaves many people with long-term side effects such as breathlessness and being very tired all of the time.
Gradually building up the amount of physical activity that you do, including strength and balance activities, can help you to recover. This is important because the less you do, the more tired and breathless you will get, as your muscles get weaker and you become less fit.
Page last updated: 27 June 2023