#Let’s stay active, also at home!
Physical activity plays a key role in our mental and physical health. Regular exercise helps prevent a number of diseases, avoid them getting worse and maintain the correct weight for any specific body type. Exercising daily is also a simple and effective way to cope with stress and frustration, also during the current COVID-19 outbreak emergency. The benefits of physical exercise include: release of built-up tension (which, in turn, reduces restlessness and conflicts), improved energy levels and general well-being, better quality of sleep, boosted self-esteem and self-confidence.
At a time when we are expected to stay at home more than usual, it is still important that we try to keep active. Health and social care workers can play a crucial role in reinforcing and conveying this message to families. For that reason, the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) is publishing short leaflets (available to download) and a number of in-depth features with useful links to provide age-specific advice on how to exercise at home.
This advice is based on guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), and adopted in our country, on recommended levels of physical activity for different age groups:
- Children under 5 years of age: infants less than 1 year of age should be physically active several times a day in a variety of ways, particularly through floor-based play; children over 1 year should be active daily for at least 180 minutes (spread throughout the day)
- Children and young people aged 5 to 17 years: should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity every day, including muscle- and bone-strengthening activities at least 3 times per week
- Adults aged 18 to 64 years: at least 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week (or a combination of both), in bouts of at least 10 consecutive minutes, and muscle-strengthening activities involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week
- Adults aged 65 years and over: same recommendations as for the 18-64 age group, but also physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls.
Download age-specific leaflets
- “With Children, physical activity…is a game! For children under 5 years old” (pdf 715 kb)
- “Growing up: physical activity as play and training! For children from 5 to 11 years old” (pdf 698 kb)
- “Teenagers can also take exercise at home. For adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old” (pdf 743 kb)
- “Exercise for adults…event at home. For adults from 18 to 64 years old” (pdf 722 kb)
- “Physical activity at home…is good at all. For persons aged 65 or more” (pdf 711 kb)