Appendix 1. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
In addition to consuming a healthy eating pattern, regular physical activity is one of the most important things Americans can do to improve their health. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive set of recommendations for Americans on the amounts and types of physical activity needed each day. Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and should perform muscle-strengthening exercises on 2 or more days each week. Youth ages 6 to 17 years need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, including aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening activities (see Table A1-1 for additional details). Just as individuals can achieve a healthy eating pattern in a variety of ways that meet their personal and cultural preferences, they can engage in regular physical activity in a variety of ways throughout the day and by choosing activities they enjoy. Table A1-2 provides a list of Federal resources, including handouts, online assessments, trackers, and interactive websites. These can be used to help motivate consumer audiences to make healthy physical activity choices.
Table A1-1. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Recommendations
6 to 17 years
Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity daily.
18 to 64 years
65 years and older
a Moderate-intensity physical activity: Aerobic activity that increases a person’s heart rate and breathing to some extent. On a scale relative to a person’s capacity, moderate-intensity activity is usually a 5 or 6 on a 0 to 10 scale. Brisk walking, dancing, swimming, or bicycling on a level terrain are examples.
b Vigorous-intensity physical activity: Aerobic activity that greatly increases a person’s heart rate and breathing. On a scale relative to a person’s capacity, vigorous-intensity activity is usually a 7 or 8 on a 0 to 10 scale. Jogging, singles tennis, swimming continuous laps, or bicycling uphill are examples.
c Muscle-strengthening activity: Physical activity, including exercise that increases skeletal muscle strength, power, endurance, and mass. It includes strength training, resistance training, and muscular strength and endurance exercises.
d Bone-strengthening activity: Physical activity that produces an impact or tension force on bones, which promotes bone growth and strength. Running, jumping rope, and lifting weights are examples.
Source: Adapted from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2008. Available at: https://health.gov/our-work/physical-activity. Accessed August 6, 2015.
Table A1-2. Federal Physical Activity Resources
|Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans||Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP)||health.gov/our-work/physical-activity|
|Healthfinder.gov (consumer resources)||ODPHP||health.gov/myhealthfinder|
|Healthy People 2020 (Physical Activity national objectives)||ODPHP||www.healthypeople.gov|
|Let’s Move!||Office of the First Lady||www.letsmove.gov|
|Step it Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities||Office of the Surgeon General||www.surgeongeneral.gov|
|I Can Do It, You Can Do It||President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN)||www.fitness.gov|
|Presidential Youth Fitness Program||PCFSN||www.pyfp.org/index.shtml|
|The President’s Challenge||PCFSN||www.presidentschallenge.org|
|The President’s Challenge Adult Fitness Test||PCFSN||www.adultfitnesstest.org|
|Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Youth Toolkit||U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)||www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/physicalactivity/guidelines.htm|
|BAM! Body and Mind (focused on tweens)||CDC||www.cdc.gov/bam|
|We Can! (Ways to Enhance Childhood Nutrition and Physical Activity)||National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute||www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan|
|Go4Life (focused on older adults)||NIH National Institute on Aging||https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/|
|SuperTracker||U.S. Department of Agriculture||www.supertracker.usda.gov|
|National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP)*||NPAP Alliance||www.physicalactivityplan.org|
*The National Physical Activity Plan is not a product of the Federal Government. However, a number of Federal officers were involved in the development of the Plan.