Children and Adolescents

Regular physical activity in children and adolescents has big benefits. It not only makes them healthier and fit now, but it lowers their risk of chronic diseases and improves their chances of becoming healthy adults.

The Guidelines recommend that children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day. That includes:

  • Aerobic Activity: Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (such as running, dancing, or biking), and include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week
  • Muscle-Strengthening: As part of the 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, include muscle-strengthening physical activity (such as climbing trees, using playground equipment, or lifting weights) on at least 3 days of the week
  • Bone-Strengthening: As part of the 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, include bone-strengthening physical activity (such as running or jumping rope) on at least 3 days of the week

It’s important to encourage young people to try a variety of physical activities. Help them find activities that they enjoy and that are right for their age.

Read the full chapter on Guidelines for children and adolescents.