Chief Medical Officer releases new physical activity guidance

New Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guidance issued today emphasises the importance of building strength and balance for adults, as well as focusing on cardiovascular exercise. Falls are the number one reason older people are taken to A&E. It could be avoided through daily activities ranging from brisk walking, carrying heavy shopping or climbing stairs, swimming and gardening.

Cerebral Palsy Sport is one of the national disability sports organisations supporting more people with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities to become more active through our activity programmes.

The UK’s top doctors are recommending over-65s take up dancing, bowls or even activities like tai chi to help stave off injury and illness in old age.

The guidance advises on safe levels of activity for pregnant women or new mums, and the many benefits that this can bring. As long as they listen to their body and speak to their health professional.

There is strong evidence that physical activity protects against a range of chronic conditions. Meeting the guidelines can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 40 per cent, coronary heart disease by 35 per cent and depression by 30 per cent. 

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies said:

“Physical activity is an under-appreciated asset in our clinical arsenal. It is cheap and brings a long list of health benefits.

“As we age, our muscles weaken and we can become stiff, leading to falls and difficulty preforming everyday activities. Physical activity can prevent fragility and support mobility in old age. By keeping active, both throughout the day and also through hobbies, we can slow muscle and bone decline, ultimately keeping us independent for longer.” 

Under the new guidelines, adults are advised to undertake strength-based exercise at least two days a week – which can help delay the natural decline in muscle mass and bone density that starts from around 50 years old. 

Read new CMO physical activity guidelines here

To learn more about our activity programmes, please click here.