Studies show that regular physical activity reduces the risk for depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, and certain kinds of cancer. Yet, the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee notes that data from various national surveillance programs consistently show most adults and youth in the U.S. do not meet current physical activity recommendations, e.g., 45% to 50% of adults and 35.8% of high school students say they get the recommended amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Children and Adolescents (aged 6–17)

Children and adolescents should do 1 hour (60 minutes) or more of physical activity every day.

Adults (aged 18–64)

Adults should do 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.

Older Adults (aged 65 and older)

Older adults should follow the adult guidelines. If this is not possible due to limiting chronic conditions, older adults should be as physically active as their abilities allow.