In a world first the new Australian physical activity guidelines released today have increased the recommended amount of activity adults should be completing per week from 150 minutes to between 150 and 300 minutes.
The new upper recommendation of 300 minutes is double the previous Australian and current international guideline recommendation of at least 150 minutes of activity per week.
Sports Medicine Australia board member and lead author of the new adult guidelines Professor Wendy Brown said the new guidelines are a wake-up call for Australian adults.
'This is a call for Australians to be more active," Professor Brown said.
'We want all Australian adults to be aware of the updated guidelines and assess how much moderate physical activity they do on average in a week.
'If you're currently meeting the previous guideline of 150 minutes per week, you should be looking at increasing that to up to 300 minutes per week.
'If you're not currently meeting the recommended 150 minutes then it's important to take note of the new guidelines and try and gradually increase your activity levels.
'In Australia obesity is now contributing more than any other factor to the burden of disease. If we're going to be serious about fighting obesity Australian adults need to aim for that upper recommendation of 300 minutes per week."
For the first time the guidelines highlight the risks of sedentary behavior in adults and children, with the guidelines also recommending children limit time spent using electronic media for entertainment.
'If the average adult is sitting at their desk for 7 hours a day, and in some cases it can be up to 10 hours, then that can lead to metabolic changes that affect your health," Professor Brown said.
'With many adults working long hours and maintaining busy social schedules a common excuse is -I don't have time'.
'These new guidelines highlight how important is for Australians to make that time to fit in between 150 and 300 minutes of activity per week.
'It's important Australians realise that the guidelines are not stipulating 45 minutes at the gym every day – for example if you walk on your lunch break, or walk your dog in the morning and then ride to and from work then you should be hitting that target.
'Muscle strengthening exercises are also important.
'All Australians should familiarise themselves with the new guidelines and assess their current activity levels."