Please DO NOT DELETE this page.

Blog //
  • Fitness

How much should we be exercising?

29 March, 2018

Why we need to exercise

Exercise benefits the physical and mental health of people of all ages.

As well as boosting our mood, regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing many serious illnesses including:

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • depression
  • lung disease
  • dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Exercise also makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight and can help us to manage existing conditions including arthritis and cancer. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 55% of Australian adults are not meeting the physical activity guidelines and 67% of Australian adults were either overweight or obese in 2017-2018. In the same year, almost 25% of Australian children aged between five and 17 were also overweight or obese.

Children and young people

The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Guidelines recommend the following:

  • birth to one year – regular moving on the floor from birth
  • one to five years – at least three hours of physical activity each day
  • five to 12 years – at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day and several hours of light physical activity
  • 13 years to 17 years – at least one hour of moderate vigorous physical activity each day and several hours of light physical activity

Vigorous activities are those that strengthen muscle and bone and children aged five to 17 should do these at least three days each week.

Healthdirect Australia outlines the many benefits of exercise for children including:

  • developing healthy bones, muscles and joints
  • improving balance and posture
  • improving strength and muscle control
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • developing social and teamwork skills


The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Guidelines recommend adults aged 18-64 years are:

  • active on most, preferably all days each week
  • do between 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity each week
  • do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week.

Regular physical activity can help adults manage:

  • stress
  • body weight
  • blood cholesterol
  • blood sugar
  • blood pressure

Older adults

The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Guidelines recommend adults aged 65 years and older:

  • do some physical activity no matter their age, weight, health problems or abilities
  • should be active each day in as many ways as possible
  • should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all days

If you’re new to exercise or haven’t been that active recently, it’s important to gradually build up your exercise over time.

You can read more about exercise tips for older Australians at the Department of Health.

Regular physical activity can help older adults to maintain:

  • muscle strength
  • bone density
  • joint health
  • healthy body weight
  • lung and heart health

Tips for getting active

If you’re just starting out with a new exercise program, it’s important that you start out slowly and gradually build up your exercise levels over time.

You should also choose an activity that you enjoy and will look forward to.

It’s also a good idea to set measurable short-term and long-term goals. For example, setting goals of walking an extra 20 minutes each day, rather than just becoming more active.

You can read more tips for getting active at Healthdirect Australia.


All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified healthcare professional.

1911_CBHS Skyscraper Banner-07

Suggested Articles

  • 2003_COVID19_Blog-08

    CBHS COVID-19 Health and Financial Assistance Program

    Here is what we are doing to support our members from both a health and financial perspective through the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • News
    • Membership
    3 April 2020
  • Video call lady Care Connected

    Supporting your mental and physical health safely at this time

    As part of the CBHS COVID-19 Health and Financial Assistance Program, we’re making a range of physical and mental health services accessible to our members in the safety of their own home.
    • Membership
    3 April 2020
  • A person at the gym

    Build a home gym for less than a hundred bucks

    Just because you can’t get to a gym doesn’t mean you should stop exercising. Build strength and fitness at home, without breaking the bank.
    • Fitness
    31 March 2020
  • Healthy Food

    How to strengthen your immune system

    Some easy ways to use the food you eat to minimise the severity of symptoms caused when you catch a bug.
    • Nutrition
    25 March 2020

What Our Members Think

I joined as a CBHS member in 1978. Through many health events and challenges CBHS has always been there for me and my family. Their exceptional service over this time has always been appreciated.

- Jenny J

What Our Members Think

I've not long joined CBHS from another fund, but so far I've been impressed by the super helpful and friendly staff, the higher claim limits and rebates at a very competitive premium, and how easy it is to lodge manual claims through the app. Thanks CBHS - you've won me over! 😃

- Jessica B

What Our Members Think

What I love about CBHS is their customer service - friendly staff and always ready to help and email you the information you ask about. Keep up the great work!!!

- Linda S

What Our Members Think

I love CBHS as its so so easy to lodge a claim and whenever i need a question answered friendly consultant is one phone call away. The phone back option instead of waiting is brilliant!

- Rachel N

What Our Members Think

I have been with CBHS since I began at CBA 15 years ago...Now I have three beautiful children, one who has a disability. Our top extras cover has been really essential for his early intervention. I do love the ease of claiming online.

- Annette E

What Our Members Think

I am relatively new to CBHS and am loving it already. I worked for a CBA subsidiary a long time ago but was still eligible to join. So much better that the for-profit funds - our premium is only a little more and we pay a lower co-contribution and get great benefits. I am loving the massage rebate for my partner and gym rebate for me!

- David G

What Our Members Think

I'm extremely happy with CBHS! I have been a customer for about six years. I think the price is reasonable. And i would refer you to my family and friends any day. Thank you CBHS!!!

- Karen W

What Our Members Think

Love CBHS as I never have to doubt that they've got my back when I need it. Been through other insurers who have limited options or limits, yet cost the same or more.

- Mark F