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Person—physical activity sufficiency status, code N

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termPhysical activity sufficiency status
METeOR identifier:Help on this term270054
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 01/03/2005
Definition:Help on this termSufficiency of moderate or vigorous physical activity to confer a health benefit, as represented by a code.
Data Element Concept:Person—physical activity sufficiency status

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termN
Maximum character length:Help on this term1
Permissible values:Help on this term
Supplementary values:Help on this term
9Not stated/inadequately described

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

The clinician makes a judgment based on assessment of the person's reported physical activity history for a usual 7-day period where:


Sufficient physical activity for health benefit for a usual 7-day period is calculated by summing the total minutes of walking, moderate and/or vigorous physical activity.

Vigorous physical activity is weighted by a factor of two to account for its greater intensity. Total minutes for health benefit need to be equal to or more than 150 minutes per week.


Insufficient physical activity for health benefit is where the sum of the total minutes of walking, moderate and/or vigorous physical activity for a usual 7-day period is less than 150 minutes but more than 0 minutes.


Sedentary is where there has been no moderate and/or vigorous physical activity during a usual 7-day period.


There is insufficient information to more accurately define the person's physical activity sufficiency status or the information is not known.

Note: The National Heart Foundation of Australia and the National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians describes moderate-intensity physical activity as causing a slight but noticeable, increase in breathing and heart rate and suggests that the person should be able to comfortably talk but not sing. Examples of moderate physical activity include brisk walking, low pace swimming, light to moderate intensity exercise classes. Vigorous physical activity is described as activity, which causes the person to 'huff and puff', and where talking in a full sentence between breaths is difficult.

Examples of vigorous physical activity include jogging, swimming (freestyle) and singles tennis.

Comments:Help on this term

The above grouping subdivides a population into three mutually exclusive categories.

A sufficiently physically active person is a person who is physically active on a regular weekly basis equal to or in excess of that required for a health benefit. Sufficient physical activity for health results from participation in physical activity of adequate duration and intensity. Although there is no clear absolute threshold for health benefit, the accrual of 150 minutes of moderate (at least) intensity physical activity over a period of one week is thought to confer health benefit. Walking is included as a moderate intensity physical activity. Note that the 150 minutes of moderate physical activity should be made up of 30 minutes on most days of the week and this can be accumulated in 10 minute bouts (National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians).

Health benefits can also be obtained by participation in vigorous physical activity, in approximate proportion to the total amount of activity performed, measured either as energy expenditure or minutes of physical activity (Pate et al. 1995).

Physical activity - health benefit for vigorous physical activity is calculated by:

  • incorporating a weighted factor of 2, to account for its greater intensity
  • summing the total minutes of walking, moderate and/or vigorous physical activity will then give an indication if a health benefit is likely.

Insufficient physical activity describes a person who engages in regular weekly physical activity but not to the level required for a health benefit through either moderate or vigorous physical activity.

A sedentary person is a person who does not engage in any regular weekly physical activity.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termCardiovascular Data Working Group
Origin:Help on this termThe National Heart Foundation of Australia's Physical Activity Policy, April 2001. National Physical Activity Guidelines For Australians, developed by the University of Western Australia & the Centre for Health Promotion

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Physical activity sufficiency status, version 1, DE, NHDD, NHIMG, Superseded 01/03/2005.pdf (19.5 KB)

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 15/02/2006

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 04/07/2007

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 22/12/2009

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 01/09/2012

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) NBPDS Health, Standard 17/10/2018

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) NBPDS Health, Superseded 17/10/2018

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