New Physical Activity Guidelines

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released the second edition of Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. When planning health and wellness programs in your community, it's important to keep the recommended guidelines in mind. This wellness blog will outline the new guidelines.

The DHHS guidelines provide evidence-based strategies to help people aged three and over improve their immediate and long-term health through regular physical activity. The guidelines break individuals up into sub-groups, including children ages 3-5 years old, children 6-17 years old, adults, older adults, pregnant women, and adults with chronic health conditions.

Below, I've included some of the physical activity guidelines for each specific group:

Preschool-Aged Children:

ƒ Preschool-aged children (ages 3 through 5 years) should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development.

ƒ Adult caregivers of preschool-aged children should encourage active play that includes a variety of activity types.

Children & Adolescents:

ƒ Children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily

ƒ It is important to provide young people with opportunities and encouragement to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.


ƒ Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits

ƒ Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.

Older Adults:

ƒ As part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do multi-component physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

Women During Pregnancy & Postpartum Period:

ƒ Women should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.

Adults With Chronic Health Conditions

ƒ Adults with chronic conditions or disabilities, who are able, should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.

To view these guidelines in their entirety, click this link!

Additionally, to support the release of these guidelines, DHHS has launched the Move Your Way Campaign, which contains a variety of resources to assist in the adoption of these standards. To visit the Move Your Way Campaign, click this link!

I hope that these guidelines will be considered when planning physical activity programs!

Until next time,


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