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New Physical Activity Guidelines (October 2008)

CDC scientists from the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) and the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) were key partners in development of the Guidelines.

The Guidelines' chapter on children and adolescents, available at http://www.health.gov/PAguidelines/guidelines/chapter3.aspx, reflect the most up-to-date research about youth physical activity and its associated health benefits. Specific recommendations are as follows:

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

  1. Aerobic: Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.
  2. Muscle-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
  3. Bone-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.

It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.

Examples of activities youth can do to meet these requirements are included in the Guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.health.gov/PAguidelines. Additional CDC resources on youth physical activity are available at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/physicalactivity and http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone.