Appendix C. Physical Activity Guidelines
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2008) provide science-based guidance to help Americans ages 6 and older maintain or improve their health through regular physical activity. These guidelines are intended to be achievable and customized according to a person’s interests, lifestyle, and goals.
Adults and Older Adults – At least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity (brisk walking) aerobic activity, OR 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) each week of vigorous-intensity (jogging or running) aerobic activity, OR an equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed for at least 10 minutes at a time, preferably spread throughout the week. Muscle strengthening should be done 2 or more days a week and include all major muscle groups. Flexibility is also an important part of physical fitness.
Adolescents and Children – 60 or more minutes a day, most of which should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (such as running, dancing, or biking), and include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week; should also include muscle-strengthening physical activity (such as climbing trees, using playground equipment, or lifting weights) and bone-strengthening physical activity (such as running or jumping rope) on at least 3 days of the week.
Preschoolers – At least 60 minutes daily of structured physical activity and at least 60 minutes and up to several hours per day of daily, unstructured physical activity; should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time except when sleeping.