The Dutch health council has issued new guidelines on exercise which say adults should take part in at least 2.5 hours exercise ‘of average intensity’ a week while children should be exercising for at least an hour every day.
In addition, both adults and children should take part regularly in activities which strengthen their muscles and bones, the health council said.
Combined, the intensive exercise regime will ‘reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart and artery disease, depression and – for the elderly – broken bones’.
The council is also recommending the health ministry get involved in stimulating people to get moving. Activities such as cycling and walking fall under the definition of average intensity exercise.
The Dutch public health council RIVM estimates around 45% of the population currently meet the guidelines. Children under the age of 12 are most likely to be taking enough exercise while just 28% of teenagers do so.