Posted by on January 19, 2021

24 Hour Movement Guidelines for Healthy Adults aged 18-64

More often than not, when we think about physical activity, we think about going to the gym, playing a sport, or getting outside for aerobic exercise. CSEP has recently come out with 24 hour movement guidelines that also include both sleep and sedentary behaviour timelines through your day. As important as movement is, it can be challenging to stay motivated if sleep has been on the backburner or hours of your leisure time are spent in front of a screen.

We’ve known for many years that health adults should aim to get 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity (brisk walking, running, hiking, biking, sessions with myself or your favourite kinesiologist) but what does that look like? Aiming for 20-30 minutes of activity most days of the week will have you covered. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to walk to work, that’s a great way to get started! Maybe you’ve got a longer bike commute? See if you can try to get 1-2 days per week when the weather is nice (or if you’re brave, even if it’s not!). Stuck at home with covid blues? Try my biweekly core classes at 5:30pm every Tuesday and Thursday!

Below are the easy to read infographics for your viewing pleasure!

Physical Activity: move your butt!

Studies have shown that even taking a ten minute walk when you have a moment adds up to major heart health benefits. In these days of zoom meetings and virtual conferences, why not schedule a call that doesn’t need a screen and take a walk around the block? An important thing to think about is that the more you enjoy an activity, the more likely you are to do it. With a myriad of options available online, there’s no reason you can’t start a hip-hop dance class or beginner’s yoga. Want a live class to keep you accountable? Our core classes and Sunday circuit classes will keep you sweaty and healthy, plus they’re fun and community oriented.

In the words of CSEP, “these 24-Hour Movement Guidelines are relevant to adults (aged 18-64 years), irrespective of gender, cultural background, or socio-economic status. These Guidelines may not be appropriate for adults aged 18-64 years who are pregnant or persons living with a disability or a medical condition; these individuals should consider consulting the Get Active Questionnaire, disability/condition-specific recommendations, or a health professional for guidance.

Adults aged 18-64 years should participate in a range of physical activities (e.g., weight bearing/non-weight bearing, sport and recreation) in a variety of environments (e.g., home/work/community; indoors/outdoors;
land/water) and contexts (e.g., leisure, transportation, occupation, household) across all seasons. Adults aged 18-64 years should limit long periods of sedentary behaviours and should practice healthy sleep hygiene
(routines, behaviours, and environments conducive to sleeping well).
Following the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines is associated with these health benefits:
• a lower risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, several cancers, anxiety,
depression, dementia, weight gain, adverse blood lipid profile; and
• improved bone health, cognition, quality of life and physical function.

The benefits of following these Guidelines far exceed potential harms. Following these Guidelines may be challenging at times; progressing towards any of the Guideline targets will result in some health benefits.
These 24-Hour Movement Guidelines were informed by the best available evidence, expert consensus, stakeholder consultation, and consideration of values and preferences, applicability, feasibility, and equity. A glossary and more details on the Guidelines, the background research, their interpretation, guidance on how to achieve them, and recommendations for further research and surveillance are available here.”

Sleep, glorious sleep

Waking up at the same time on weekends as weekdays is challenging, but so good for your brain and body

Most of us know that we ought to get more rest, move more, and spend less time on our devices, but it can be easier said that done. Many phones and smart watches now have settings to help remind us to get to bed on time, but the problem is, a lot of these same devices keep us awake long after we’ve crawled into bed! If you find yourself scrolling endlessly after you’ve promised yourself “just one more article” it might be time to try a new bedtime routine. Try keeping a journal beside your bed and writing down what you did, or what you’re grateful for, or even your to-do list for tomorrow. Putting pen to paper can help ease your mind and prepare you for slumber, not to mention there’s no blue light shining in your eyes!

Speaking of Screen Time…

Particularly when we spend so much time on our screens, think about how to spend leisure time offline if possible

One of the silver linings to the COVID-19 crisis is the realization that home office ergonomics make a big difference in productivity and physical health. Check with your employer to see if a sit-to-stand desk could be an option for you; switching from sitting to standing for a few hours per day can add up. Obviously we can’t all quit our jobs in favour of standing and walking all day, so the ability to stand up and stretch our legs here and there is a fantastic alternative.

If your most enjoyable recreational activities do involve a screen, you could try setting a timer to get up and stretch for a few minutes every hour. An option I’ve always liked when it’s time to sit down and complete a task in front of the screen is to make sure I’ve got a big glass of my favourite beverage (hot tea, sparkling water, a cold beer, whatever you like) and to drink up! Getting up to use the bathroom forces you to take a movement break. You’re welcome.

The Whole Day Matters

“Following the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines can help you make your whole day matter. There are three core recommendations to keep in mind:

  • Move More – including moderate to vigorous physical activity, but for the first time it’s clear that light activity and standing matter too;
  • Reduce Sedentary Time; and
  • Sleep Well.

It’s important to remember that some activity is better than none and it can all lead to benefits for both your physical and mental health. The routine rituals of daily living such as casual neighbourhood walks, gardening and household chores and taking stairs instead of the elevator all contribute towards a healthy 24 hours. And on days when fitting in heart-pumping activity is difficult, focusing on reducing sedentary time and preserving a good night’s rest will help adults make that whole day matter.”

Have questions about anything you’ve read here? Please click here to book a 15 minute free consultation with me – I’d be happy to discuss your goals, your barriers to activity, and answer any questions that may arise.

Yours in good health!


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