WHO health guidelines way off

A University of Queensland study has found that the amount of exercise recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to stay fit should be increased by five times.

The University of Queensland studied the correlation between the physical activity required to stay healthy, and chronic health conditions such as diabetes, bowel cancer, heart disease and stroke.

The study revealed that the WHO exercise recommendations of 10 metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per week are way off and need to around 50 to 70 MET hours per week to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

The University’s recommended exercise levels include:

  • walk briskly for 15–20 hours per week
  • run between six and eight hours per week
  • ride for seven hours per week
  • swim for eight hours per week.

These recommendations may sound nigh on impossible for many people, but researcher Dr Lennert Veerman believes that we may already do more than we think.

“… if you cycle to work, walk to work, or if you take the stairs consistently, all those sort of things add up,” said Dr Veerman.

Around 43 per cent of Australians stick to the WHO guidelines, but Dr Veerman says they simply need to exercise more.

“If we want to live long and healthy and reduce our waistlines, we need to do more activity,” he said. “Activity levels for optimum health need to be about five times the currently recommended levels.”

Read more at www.abc.net.au

Do you do enough exercise? How do you feel about the results of this study?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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