Does everyone in your community have access to resources to get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week? Unfortunately, probably not. Only about one in five adults and teens get enough physical activity to maintain good health, and many of you are working to change that.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released updated guidelines for how much physical activity we need to be healthy. The guidelines are based on recent scientific evidence supporting the connections between physical activity, overall health and well-being, disease prevention and quality of life. The American Heart Association supports these guidelines and is adopting them as our physical activity recommendations as well.
The guidance to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity like brisk walking (or 75 minutes of vigorous activity like running) hasn’t changed. But the guidelines include some new learnings about the benefits of moving more and sitting less.
The good news is, anything that gets someone up and moving for any amount of time has a positive impact on health. And any moderate-intensity activity counts toward the 150+. This means all your work to improve sidewalks, parks and bike trails as well as physical activity in out-of-school time settings, early child care and education and during the school day are more critical than ever!
And here’s some news you can really use in your campaign: Being more active can help all people think, feel and sleep better and perform daily tasks more easily. But the guidelines also point out that spending less time sitting is helpful, especially for people who don’t exercise. Even light-intensity activities like cooking or household chores can help offset the health risks of being sedentary.
The American Heart Association wants to inspire your entire community to get to 150+ of moderate activity, because we know that’s the “sweet spot” where everyone will see the most improvement in their health. But we know tracking those numbers isn’t for everyone, so the bottom line is: sit less, move more and try to move with more intensity. We’ve got lots of practical tips and science-based info to help your community do that. So, spread the word: stand up for your health and take the first step toward a better you.
Learn more about the new Physical Activity Guidelines and what they mean for your community.
Want to help keep children engaged in physical activity? Click here to visit our Physical Education toolkit and to sign up for the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Team!