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Table 3 Comparison of national physical activity recommendations for adults with the 1995 CDC/ACSM and WHO recommendations

From: National physical activity recommendations: systematic overview and analysis of the situation in European countries

Country Inactivity Minimum recommendations Further recommendations
   Duration Combination Frequency Bouts Add. health benefits Strength, balance etc. Overweight
   Moderate intensity Vigorous intensity     
CDC/ACSM [19] - 30 minutes or more - - On most, preferably all, days of the week Short bouts - - -
WHO [22] - 150 minutes/week 75 minutes/week Explicitly stated Throughout the week At least 10 minutes 300 minutes moderate intensity/week, 150 minutes vigorous-intensity/week, or combination Muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days/week -
Austria [27] - 150 minutes/week* 75 minutes/week (1 ¼ hours) Explicitly stated On most days At least 10 minutes 300 minutes moderate intensity/week, 150 minutes vigorous-intensity/week, or combination Muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days/week -
Belgium [28] - 30 minutes on 5 days/week (or 60 minutes if of low intensity or less than 5 days/week) 20 minutes on 3 days/week Explicitly stated 5 or 3 days/week At least 10 minutes More activity can have additional health benefits Activities for muscular strength and endurance on at least 2 days/week -
Denmark [29] - At least 30 minutes ideally on 7 days/week 20-30 minutes on 2 days/week * Ideally on 7 days/week and 2 days/week, respectively For example 2 × 15 minutes or 3 × 10 minutes More activity will have additional health benefits At least twice a week for at least 20 minutes activities of vigorous intensity for fitness, muscle and bone strength and flexibility Moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes, ideally 7 days/week
France [33] - Activity corresponding to 30 minutes of brisk walking/day Can be carried out on an individual basis, depending on preference, capacity, health status - On most, if possible all days of the week - - - -
Iceland [34] Avoid inactivity and incorporate physical activity into daily life. 30 minutes In addition to basic recommendations, do at least two times a week 20-30 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity to promote further fitness including endurance - Daily For example 10-15 minutes More activity can promote further health benefits At least twice per week, 20-30 minutes vigorous PA to promote further fitness including strength. -
Ireland [35] - 30 minutes (or 150 minutes/week) Any amount of physical activity gains some health benefits. 75 minutes/week Explicitly stated 5 days/week At least 10 minutes 60 minutes on 5 days/week of moderate intensity - To avoid weight gain: at least 350 cal./day (ca. 60 minutes brisk walking or 30 minutes jogging/day) To keep the weight off: 60-90 minutes moderate activity/day To lose weight: 1/3 more than minimum recommendation
Luxembourg [36] - 30 minutes - - Daily Shorter bouts (e.g. 3 × 10 minutes) possible - 2 to 3 times/week strength, flexibility and balance training -
Malta [37] - 30 minutes or more - - On most, preferably all days of the week Ideally at least 10 minutes but even shorter bouts contribute significantly to health benefits - - -
Netherlands [38] - 30 minutes at least 5 days/week+ 20 minutes 3 times/week+ - At least 5 days/week/3 times/week (VPA) - - - -
Norway [26] - 30 minutes or energy expenditure of about 630 kJ 30 minutes or energy expenditure of about 630 kJ Explicitly stated Daily Can probably be divided into shorter intervals, e.g. about 10 minutes Increasing activity beyond this duration and intensity will yield additional benefits - More activity (ca. 60 minutes/day) of moderate and/or vigorous intensity may be needed for prevention of weight gain
Russian Federation [39] Avoid sedentary behaviour 150 minutes/week (2 ½ hours) 75 minutes/week (1 ¼ hours) Explicitly stated Preferably spread across the week At least 10 minutes 300 minutes (5 hours) moderate intensity/week, 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) vigorous-intensity/week, or combination At least 2x/week strength training -
Slovenia [40] - 30 minutes - - At least 5 days/week Not shorter than 10-15 minutes - Exercise should be divided: 50% aerobic, 25% flexibility, 25% muscular strength -
Sweden [26] - 30 minutes or energy expenditure of about 630 kJ 30 minutes or energy expenditure of about 630 kJ Explicitly stated Daily Can probably be divided into shorter intervals, e.g. about 10 minutes Increasing activity beyond this duration and intensity will yield additional benefits - More activity (ca. 60 minutes/day) of moderate and/or vigorous intensity may be needed for prevention of weight gain
Switzerland [41] - 30 minutes - - Daily or most days of the week At least 10 minutes Additional effects achieved with more activity. Already active individuals can achieve additional health benefits with targeted training (at least 3 d/wk. 20-60 minutes with high intensity) Strength training (8-15 repetitions) and flexibility training, gymnastics and stretching exercises twice a week -
Turkey [42] - 30 minutes - - Daily - - - Be physically active every day, do these activities slowly
United Kingdom [43] Minimize sedentary (sitting) time for extended periods 150 minutes; one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days/week 75 minutes Explicitly stated Daily (MPA) Spread across the week (VPA) At least 10 minutes - Strength training at least 2 days/week -
  1. -Aspect not mentioned in the recommendations.
  2. +Adherence to either the moderate- or vigorous intensity recommendation, not a combination. *Both the moderate- and vigorous intensity recommendations required to meet recommendations.
  3. MPA = moderate physical activity; VPA = vigorous physical activity.