2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Submits Scientific Report

The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, a group of nationally recognized experts in physical activity and public health, has submitted its recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary and disbanded.

The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report describes findings from the Committee’s systematic review of the scientific evidence on physical activity, fitness, and health, and will help inform the next edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

The 2018 Scientific Report reinforces the recommendations included in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines that physical activity reduces the risk of a large number of diseases and conditions. In addition to disease prevention benefits, the Scientific Report includes findings that regular physical activity provides a variety of benefits that help people sleep better, feel better, and perform daily tasks more easily. The Committee also found that some benefits happen immediately, on the same day a single bout of physical activity is performed.

Expanding on findings from the Advisory Committee Scientific Report, 2008, the 2018 Committee identified health benefits of physical activity that had not been previously identified including:

  • Improved bone health and weight status for children ages 3 to 5
  • Improved cognitive function for children ages 6 to 13
  • Decreased risk of certain cancers, dementia, and excessive weight gain for adults
  • Improved quality of life and sleep for adults
  • Reduced feelings of anxiety and depression in adults
  • Additional benefits for specific population including older adults, women who are pregnant or postpartum, and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions

Additionally, the Committee found strong or moderate evidence that more time spent in sedentary behavior is related to greater all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality and incidence, type 2 diabetes incidence, and the incidence of certain cancers.

Get Involved: The Department has published the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report online and the public is encouraged to view the Scientific Report and provide written comments to the federal government at https://health.gov/paguidelines/pcd. The comment period will be open until 11:59 pm E.T. April 2, 2018.

Next Steps: The Scientific Report is not a draft of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans policy, but the report will be considered, along with input from federal agencies and comments from the public, in the development of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, to be released later this year.