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Introducing The New Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Given the synergy with all of the recent APA Healthy Communities work, including the Policy Guide, the Joint Call to Action, and the Collaborative, CDC wanted to pass on the important announcement below. For many of us, it is particularly exciting to see the revised Guidelines emphasize community-level interventions that can make being physically active the easy choice in all the places where people live, learn, work, & play. These include interventions that design the built environment of communities in ways that make it easier for people to be active, particularly for transportation. This includes locating destinations such as schools, stores, or public transportation near homes or workplaces so that people can easily walk, bike, or wheelchair walk there. It includes making routes to these places more accommodating for walkers, bicyclists, or wheelchair users by making them safer and more seamlessly connected.

It is our hope that these updated Guidelines, along with the following CDC-supported activities, will be of use to all of you and that – together – we can increase opportunities and supports for safe and healthy physical activity in states and communities throughout the U.S.:


Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

On November 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, which outlines the amounts and types of physical activity needed to maintain or improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. The document also highlights new benefits of physical activity and tested strategies that can be used to get all Americans more active.

The evidence is clear—physical activity fosters normal growth and development, can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, and can make people feel better, function better, and sleep better. Some health benefits start immediately after activity, and even short bouts of physical activity are beneficial. In fact, just about everyone benefits: young children to older adults, men and women of all races and ethnicities, women who are pregnant or postpartum, people living with a chronic condition or a disability, and people who are looking to reduce their risk of chronic disease.  

What’s New in the Guidelines?

  • Guidance for preschool-aged children (3-5 years)
  • Evidence for even more health benefits of physical activity
  • Discussion of sedentary behavior
  • Tested strategies for physical activity promotion
  • Removal of bout length requirement – every little bit counts!

Additionally, the Move Your Way campaign resources are designed to help explain the Guidelines to consumers. These resources include interactive tools, fact sheets, videos, and graphics that are available for communities, health professionals, and others to promote the health benefits of meeting the new recommendations, along with tips for how to help people become more active.

To help reinforce the importance of physical activity to overall health, CDC is working with states and communities through Active People, Healthy Nation – Creating an Active America, Together. By increasing activity-friendly environments, this initiative aims to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027 to improve overall health and quality of life and to reduce healthcare costs. 

As a valued partner of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, we hope you find this information helpful. Please share with others who may be interested and include links about the Guidelines and new resources on your website, in newsletters, and in presentations.