Regular exercise and physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. There is strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life. We are committed to providing exercise opportunities and positive activity experiences that allow you to boost your health, feel better and have fun.

Why exercise is important

Regular exercise helps lower your risk of developing a wide range of health conditions such as heart disease (35% risk reduction), type 2 diabetes (50% risk reduction), colon cancer (50% risk reduction), breast cancer (20% reduction), osteoarthritis (83% lower risk), depression (30% risk reduction). 

Regular physical activity helps to keep you living longer by reducing your risk of dying prematurely by 30%.

Engaging in regular exercise and physical activity prevents excess weight gain and helps you to maintain a healthy weight.

Physical activity and exercise stimulates brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.

Regular exercise can improve your muscles strength and endurance, it also improves you’re the health of your heart and lungs giving you more energy to enjoy life.

Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep.

Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable.  It gives you a chance to unwind, destress and engage in activities that make you happy.  It also helps you to connect with colleagues, family and friends.

Am I doing enough exercise?

How much exercise you need to do to stay healthy depends on your age. Find out the recommendations for your age group.

To maintain a basic level of health, children and young people aged 5 to 18 need to:

  • do moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day.
  • do vigorous intensity activities, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, should be incorporated at least three days a week.
  • minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.

To stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should:

  • do at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.

or

  • comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
  • do physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
  • minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.

Older adults aged 65 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily and should do:

Older adults should try to be active daily and should try to do:

  • at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of moderate intensity exercise in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one approach is to do at least 30 minutes on at least five days a week, plus strength exercises on at least two days a week. Physical activity that improves balance and coordination should also be included two days per week.

For those who are already active

  • 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity spread across the week plus strength exercises on at least two days a week. Physical activity that improves balance and coordination should also be included two days per week.

All older adults should minimise the amount of time spent sitting for prolonged periods of time.

Before you start any new exercise programme, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems or other concerns, you should evaluate your health.  Read and answer the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR Q) here.

If you require more specific exercise guidelines or have any queries or concerns we are happy to help.  You can contact us at ise@dundee.ac.uk