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The least active stand to gain the most from a small increase in physical activity

Large health gains are seen in individuals increasing their activity levels from very low amounts. For instance, increasing from 10 to 20 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week has a significant effect on life expectancy even though individuals are below the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity. So, it’s worth supporting very inactive individuals to change their behaviour, particularly as many of the least active members of the population are often seen in healthcare settings.


Deapartment of Health. UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines. London: 2019.

Department of Health. Start Active, Stay Active: A report on physical activity from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers. London: 2011.

NICE. Physical activity: brief advice for adults in primary care. Natl Inst Heal care Excell Public Heal Guidel 44 2013;