Monday, JAMA published a summarized report of the just-released U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) second edition Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG), which provides evidence-based recommendations to improve American individual and population health. This is the second edition of PAG, with the first edition being released back in 2008.
Approximately 80% of US adults and adolescents do not accumulate sufficient physical activity for optimum health. The report gives a call to action for clinicians, other health care professionals, health organizations, and the American people to improve individual and population health preventatively. JAMA claims “individuals who meet the…recommendations could lower their risk of premature death by 33%, compared with those who are not physically active.”
The major takeaway from the report is to encourage all patients to participate in some physical activity. The theme of the 2nd edition PAG is “move more, sit less.” HHS says there is no threshold of benefit from physical activity. In the first PAG edition, 10-minute spurts of exercise were recommended, but current guidelines advise any small amount of movement, such as brisk walking or climbing a flight of stairs, is proven to benefit health.
The Second Edition Physical Activity Guidelines
Children (3-5): 3 hours of light, moderate, or vigorous “active play” per day.
Youth (6-17 y/o): 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per day and 3 days per week of muscle-strengthening activity.
Adults: 150 – 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week combined with 2 days per week of muscle-strengthening activity.
Women During Pregnancy: 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Vigorous-intensity activity may be continued during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Older Adults: Multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle strengthening activities determined by fitness level. Adults with chronic conditions should understand whether and how their conditions affect their ability to do regular physical activity safely.
Adults with Chronic Health Conditions and Adults with Disabilities:
Consult a physical activity specialist/ health care professional: 150 – 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week. Strength training 2 or more days a week. If unsafe to comply, follow “move more, sit less” to avoid inactivity.
Read the complete second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines from health.gov here.
View and share the comprehensive video explaining new guidelines by JAMA here.
Read JAMA’s editorial “New Physical Activity Guidelines, A Call to Activity for Clinicians and Patients” here.