Physical Activity Pie

Physical Activity Pie


The UKK Institute's Physical Activity Pie has been updated 2009 to meet the guidelines for health-enhancing physical activity for adults (aged 18—64).

The new version of this graphic aid to health-enhancing physical activity puts more emphasis on the significance of muscular fitness to health. Physical activity that improves endurance has been given a total weekly duration that is based on the degree of strain needed to perform the activity.

The revision of the recommendation for health-enhancing physical activity is based on a broad review of the scientific literature, which continually provides more and more scientific evidence of the effect of physical activity on health.

The Physical Activity Pie encapsulates the following recommendation

  • Health is promoted by moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity of at least 10 minutes that accumulates throughout a week to a total of at least 2 h 30 min per week.
  • An alternative is more-demanding, vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity with an accumulation of at least 1 h 15 min per week.
  • In addition, everyone needs muscle-strengthening and balance training at least twice a week.

Notice also this

  • Activities with different levels of physical demand can be combined according to a person's own degree of physical fitness.
  • It is good to divide physical activity into several, at least three, days a week.
  • From the perspective of health, even a small amount of regular physical activity is better than none at all.

Improve aerobic fitness

The physical demand of aerobic training can be chosen according to a person's own basic level of fitness and his or her objective. Moderate physical activity for at least 2.5 hours a week is enough for beginners and those practicing health-enhancing physical activity.

Suitable forms of activity are walking and cycling (e.g., in commuting to and from work and in taking care of everyday needs), Nordic walking, or heavy house and yard work.

Those who are used to physical activity and are physically fit need more-demanding physical activities to increase their physical fitness, but they need to spend only half the time for results i.e., at least 1 h 15 min per week.

The types of activities can be, for example, uphill walking or climbing stairs, running, cross-country skiing, and water running. Fast racket games and running ball games, as well as aerobics, are group activities that improve endurance.

Aerobic training develops cardiorespiratory endurance and promotes the health of the heart, circulation, and lungs. The balance of blood lipid and glucose improves, and physical activity also helps control weight.

Develop muscular strength and balance

In addition to aerobic training, a person needs physical activity that increases muscular strength and improves balance at least twice a week. It is recommended that 8 to 10 movements that strengthen the large muscle groups should be performed and that these movements should be repeated 8 to 12 times.

Training in a fitness center and sequence training are suitable for this purpose. Ball games, skating, and dancing develop coordination and balance. Regular stretching helps maintain flexibility.

The recommendation for health-enhancing physical activity is based on the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, published in 2008.

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Order the Physical Activity Pie chart (Liikuntapiirakka) at the UKK Institutes netshop
(Sorry, the netshop is available only in Finnish.)

Physical Activity Pie

Last Modified: 05.06.2015


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