Active and Inactive Behaviours

Physical Activity

Some of the day-to-day tasks that you may already be doing could count towards the physical activity recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week.  The activities in the table below are some examples of physical activities that could count towards your 150 minutes per week. Just remember, the recommendation is based on activities that are of at least moderate intensity

Physically active tasks

Activities at home

Activities away from home



Gardening/ DIY

Climbing stairs

Playing with children/ grandchildren

Cleaning windows

Mowing the grass

Washing the car

Walking children to/ from school

Home exercise video

Walking to work/ walking the dog

Taking children to the park

Using stairs in the office

Team sports

Going to the Gym

Going for swim

Going for a cycle ride

Yoga/ Pilates/ exercise class

Going for a walk/ run

Going dancing

 Inactive or sedentary behaviour

Sedentary behaviour is not simply a lack of physical activity but a combination of individual behaviours that occur whilst sitting or lying down, where energy expenditure is very low. Individuals who obtain sufficient physical activity could still be considered sedentary if they spend long periods sitting or lying. The following table shows some examples of sedentary and non sedentary behaviour.

Sedentary behaviours

Non sedentary behaviours

Sitting reading a book

Watching television or playing computer games

Socialising with friends

Driving or sitting on public transport


Using stationary exercise equipment

Floor based play with children

Pushing yourself in a wheelchair

 There is currently a lot of research being completed around sedentary behaviour. This research is showing increasing evidence that sedentary behaviour is associated with chronic disease morbidity and mortality in adults and may also be a health risk in children and young adults.

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