Physical Activity Facts

How together we can increase physical activity for all:


Physical Activity Recommendations

National physical activity guidelines were announced in October 2008. The guidelines provide recommended amounts of physical activity for children and adolescents, adults and older adults. The general guidelines are listed below. For more information, visit www.health.gov/paguidelines

Children and Adolescents

  • Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily.
  • Most of the 60 minutes or more should be either moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
  • Children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
  • It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.

Adults

  • All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.
  • Adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes at a time.
  • For additional health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
  • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

Older Adults

  • The guidelines for adults also apply to older adults.
  • When older adults cannot do 150 minutes of activity a week, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
  • Older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if they are at risk of falling.
  • Older adults should determine their level of effort for physical activity relative to their level of fitness.
  • Older adults with chronic conditions should understand whether and how their conditions affect their ability to do regular physical activity safely.

Updated Tuesday, 30-Apr-2013 16:50:46 CDT