Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 398. Updated Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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New guidelines double dose for exercise

Adults should do between 150 and 300 minutes of physical exercise a week, twice the previous Government recommendations.

The new guidelines on physical activity are a "wake-up call" for Australians, said the Director of The University of Queensland's Centre for Research on Exercise, Physical Activity and Health, Professor Wendy Brown.

Professor Brown is the lead author of the guidelines released by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

The guidelines draw on research which suggests that while the previous recommendation of 150 minutes per week of moderate activity was sufficient for general health benefits, a higher level is needed to prevent weight gain and some cancers.

'Wake-up call' for Australians

Professor Brown said the new guidelines were a wake-up call for Australian adults to be more active.

"In Australia, obesity is now contributing more than any other factor to the overall burden of disease," Professor Brown said.

"If we're serious about limiting weight gain, Australian adults need to aim for that upper recommendation of 300 minutes per week."

But for coach potatoes, one of the main messages of the new guidelines is that some activity is always better than none.

Professor Brown suggests working towards the recommended range using a variety of activities, including muscle strengthening exercises.

More information on the guidelines can be found at this PS News link.

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