Report recommends 30 minutes of activity five days a week for adults

Plan up by cross-departmental group of civil servants with assistance from experts involved in sport

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: He  will  launch the plan  in Dublin  alongside Minister for Sport Paschal Donohoe and their Ministers of State. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: He will launch the plan in Dublin alongside Minister for Sport Paschal Donohoe and their Ministers of State. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

All adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week, according to the Government’s national physical activity plan, to be published today. The plan says children and young people should be active to a moderate to vigorous level for at least 60 minutes a day. This should include muscle-strengthening, flexibility and bone-strengthening exercises three times a week.

The guidelines for older people are similar to those for 18 to 64-year-olds, at 150 minutes a week, with a focus on aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening and balance. People with disabilities are advised to be as active as possible, with the aim of meeting the overall adult guidelines.

Support for 500 new community walking groups around the country, as well as the extension of the Active School Flag programme, are proposed.

The plan, drawn up by a cross-departmental group of civil servants with assistance from experts involved in sport, will be launched in Dublin today by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and Minister for Sport Paschal Donohoe, along with their Ministers of State, Kathleen Lynch and Michael Ring. The document commits Government agencies to incorporating physical activity into long-term planning and practice in the health and social service. A public database of sports and recreation facilities is to be created, with the getirelandactive.ie website expanded as a “one-stop shop” for physical activity.

It says physical activity will be used as an educational tool, especially at primary level, and teachers will be given help in the form of a professional development support service.

Healthy lifestyles will be promoted in all schools and walking and cycling strategies promoted in each local area.

Town planners will be required to incorporate exercise, cycle routes and parks into their work.