About the Physical Activity Guidelines


The Physical Activity Guidelines is an essential resource for health professionals and policy makers. It includes recommendations for Americans ages 3 years and over — including people at increased risk of chronic disease — and provides evidence-based advice on how physical activity can help promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

The Guidelines serves as the primary, authoritative voice of the federal government for evidence-based guidance on physical activity, fitness, and health for Americans.

Evolution and Process

Since 2008, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans has been a go-to resource for policy makers and health professionals — and served as a foundation for federal physical activity and education programs.

ODPHP released the first edition of the Guidelines in 2008, followed in 2013 by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth. We released the current version — the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans — in 2018.

ODPHP led the development of the second edition in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. The second edition builds on the previous Guidelines, while incorporating the vast amount of knowledge we’ve gained about physical activity and health since the original’s publication.

Developing the Second Edition

As the first step in the process of updating the Guidelines, 17 nationally recognized, non-federal experts in physical activity and health were appointed to serve on the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee.

The Advisory Committee worked for 21 months to examine current scientific evidence on the relationship between physical activity and health. The Advisory Committee’s work culminated with a scientific advisory report of evidence-based recommendations submitted to the Secretary of HHS in February 2018.

Members of the public were able to provide comments throughout that process, and this website served as a platform for submitting and viewing these comments. ODPHP then used information in the Scientific Report, along with feedback from the public and federal agencies, to develop the new edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines.