Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes & cancer by up to 50%. It can also reduce stress, the risk of depression, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.


Young people aged 5 – 18

  • At least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic activity per day
  • Muscle and bone strengthening activities on 3 days a week


  • At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week
  • Or: 75 minutes vigorous intensity aerobic activity a week
  • Or: An equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous intensity exercise
  • And: Muscle-strengthening activities on 2+ days


Moderate intensity aerobic activity

Activity which raises the heart and breathing rate, during which you can talk but not sing.


  • Hiking
  • Riding a bike on the flat
  • Pushing a lawn mower
  • Doubles tennis

Vigorous intensity aerobic activity

Activity which raises the heart rate substantially, during which you can only say a few words without pausing for breath.


  • Running/ jogging,
  • Riding a bike fast
  • Singles tennis

Muscle-strengthening activities

Anything that involves working against resistance (including weights) or lifting your own body weight.


  • Pull-ups
  • Yoga

Bone-strengthening activities

Activities which produce an impact or tension force on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength.


  • Running

Further information

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Page last reviewed: 21 June, 2021