The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is an essential resource for health and fitness professionals. The original edition includes recommendations for Americans ages 6 years and over – including those at increased risk of chronic disease – and provides science-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.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS) Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, led development of the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
The development of the second edition of the Guidelines started in 2016 when the former Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services appointed an external scientific advisory committee consisting of seventeen physical activity and health experts – known as the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee.
The Committee worked for nearly two years conducting a series of systematic reviews of the scientific literature on physical activity and health. The Committee met periodically and held several public meetings in 2016 and 2017. The Committee’s work culminated with a scientific advisory report of evidence-based recommendations submitted to the current Secretary of the HHS in February 2018. The HHS used the Advisory Committee’s Scientific Report as the primary source when writing the new edition of the Guidelines, but also considered comments from the public and other government agencies.
On November 12, 2018 the HHS released the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provides science-based guidance to help people ages 3 years and older improve their health through participation in regular physical activity. It reflects the extensive amount of new knowledge gained since the publication of the first Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2008.
Some new aspects of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans include:
- Additional health benefits related to brain health, additional cancer sites, and fall-related injuries;
- Immediate and long-term benefits for how people feel, function, and sleep;
- Further benefits among older adults and people with additional chronic conditions;
- Risks of sedentary behavior and the relationship with physical activity;
- Guidance for preschool children (ages 3 through 5 years);
- Elimination of the requirement for physical activity of adults to occur in bouts of at least 10 minutes; and
- Tested strategies that can be used to get the population more active.
The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provides Key Guidelines for preschool-aged children (ages 3 through 5 years), school-aged children and adolescents (ages 6 through 17 years), adults, older adults, women during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and adults with chronic health conditions and with disabilities. Key guidelines for safe physical activity are also provided.
To access and view the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans visit https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/.
NETA has developed a home study workbook and exam corresponding to the new Guidelines so that NETA-certified exercise professionals may earn continuing education credits (CECs) for reviewing this important document. To learn more visit https://www.netafit.org/product/physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans-2nd-edition/.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.