American’s are sitting too much and exercising too little, according to the new “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans” (PDF; 14 MB). from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Back in 2008, we weren’t exercising enough, and after looking at about 27,000 adults, we still aren’t—and we’re sitting more. People who sit more than six hours a day went from 16.1% to 18.8%.
Time to redouble your health education efforts! We’ve updated our Promoting Healthy Lifestyles course to reflect that some physical activity is better than none. Moving around shows immediate health benefits, including reducing anxiety, improving blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.
There are even more long-term health benefits with more activity, from better cognition in youth to preventing 8 types of cancer in adults to reducing injuries from falls in older adults.
The new guidelines recommend:
- Children ages 3 through 5 should be active throughout the day aiming for at least 3 hours per day.
- Youth ages 6 through 17 need at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity every day. Most activity can be aerobic, like walking, running, or anything that makes their hearts beat faster, and also activities that make their bones and muscles stronger, such as jumping rope.
- Adults need 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. This can be dancing or jogging, and also 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity every week.
Or, in short, move more and sit less.
Here are some resources to promote physical activity in your community:
Read the new guidelines fact sheet Top 10 Things to Know.
Download free Move Your Way Campaign Materials to use with your health promoters.
Ask about our training on promoting healthy lifestyles and courses on preventing and managing chronic
illness for your team.