The new federal physical-activity guidelines were updated in November 2018 for the first time since 2008. They urge adults to do 75 minutes of vigorous or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week and muscle-strengthening exercises or yoga twice a week. Only 23% of all American actually meet the recommended criteria. Do you?
The guidelines have added the simple imperative to “move more and sit less.” The recommendation is based on evidence that shows a strong relationship between increased sedentary behavior and increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and all-cause mortality. Physical activity helps to offset these risks.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion lists the long-term health benefits for you if you consistently follow the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans:
- For youth: improves cognition, bone health, fitness, heart health, and reduces risk of depression
- For adults: helps prevent cancers, maintain healthy weight, reduces the risk of dementia, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, and improves bone health, physical function, and quality of life
- For older adults: lowers the risk of falls and injuries from falls
- New evidence: decreases pain of osteoarthritis and reduces disease progression
Move Your Way is the promotional campaign for the new guidelines. The idea is that every movement counts, whether gardening, cleaning, carrying groceries, dancing, standing instead of sitting, or walking instead of riding. In a study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, each 30-minute chunk of light activities was linked to a 12% lower risk of mortality for women and 17% for men. It’s easy for all of us to move more. Download the activity fact sheets and planners or watch Move Your Way videos for adults, older adults, parents, kids, and care providers in English and Spanish at health.gov.