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National physical activity recommendations

systematic overview and analysis of the situation in European countries

Kahlmeier, S., Wijnhoven, T.M. A., Alpiger, P., Schweizer, C., Breda, J., & Martin, B.W. (2015). National physical activity recommendations: systematic overview and analysis of the situation in European countries. BMC public health 15

Information received until summer 2012 from 37 countries was analyzed. Sixteen countries did not have national recommendations while 21 countries did. For 17 countries, the source document was accessible. Seventeen recommendations referred to adults, 14 to young people and 6 to older adults. Most national recommendations for children and young people are quite similar: 12 countries recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity PA each day, in line with the WHO global recommendation. Three countries recommend longer durations and one a lower one. In some countries, slight variations were found regarding the recommended intensity and minimum bouts. Only one country was fully in line with the WHO recommendations. Two countries have issued separate recommendations for pre-school children. For adults, most countries still follow the 1995 United States recommendations of “at least 30 minutes on 5 days a week”. Three countries were fully in line with the WHO recommendations. Four countries give specific recommendations on reducing weight, avoiding weight gain or continuing weight maintenance. The six identified national PA recommendations for older adults are mainly similar to those for adults but underline that particularly for this age group also less activity has important health benefits; four countries also recommend balance training



National physical activity recommendations

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Sonja Kahlmeier
Trudy Wijnhoven
Patrick Alpiger
Christian Schweizer
Joao Breda
Brian Martin

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