Physical activity for health – step by step
The physical activity recommendation for 18–64-year-olds introduces the amount and type of physical activity beneficial for the health of working-age adults. It also gives advice on how to increase physical activity in everyday life.
Materials on the physical activity recommendation for adults
Balance rest with physical activity
Adequate sleep is important. During sleep, your brain structures your thoughts and helps you to recover from daily stress. When you wake up refreshed, you know you have slept enough.
Breaks to sedentary behaviour
Even small amount of physical activity activates your muscles, reduces strain on your body and improves the well-being of your musculoskeletal system.
Everyday life offers many opportunities to be physically active
Light physical activity
as often as possible
Every step counts: household chores, shopping trips and other daily activities. Your circulation increases, blood sugar and lipid levels improve, joints get more flexible, and your mind is invigorated.
How much physical activity is good for you?
Even short bouts of physical activity count
Moderate physical activity
At least 2 h 30 min per week
All activity that increases your heart rate is beneficial.
- Physical activity is moderate, if you are able to talk despite shortness of breath.
Vigorous physical activity
At least 1h 15 min per week
You will achieve the same health benefits in a shorter length of time, when you increase the intensity of your activity.
- Physical activity is vigorous, if talking is difficult due to shortness of breath.
Muscle strengthening and balance activities
At least 2 times per week
Use your large muscle groups and challenge your balance more than normally. Move your way: climbing stairs, heavy gardening, group exercises, gym, ball games.
Physical activity can immediately make you feel better
- Your mood will improve.
- Your thoughts will be sharper.
- Your feeling of stress will be reduced.
- You will sleep better.
Being sufficiently physically active can add healthy years in your life.
Physical activity prevents, treats and rehabilitates many diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and some cancers.
Move your way. Every day.
The new Finnish physical activity recommendation is based on the American physical activity guidelines updated in 2018. The guidelines prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are based on comprehensive, international scientific evidence.
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Last updated: 8.11.2023