Physical activity guidelines released

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 27, 2008

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Children and teens should be physically active at least an hour a day, and adults should participate in 2½ hours of exercise per week, according to the "2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" published Oct. 7 by the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

"The evidence is clear. Regular physical activity over months and years produces long-term health benefits and reduces the risk of many diseases. The more physically active you are, the more health benefits you gain," stated HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt.

The document also stated that most of the daily hour of exercise recommended for those ages 6-18 should be moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. Muscle and bone strengthening should also be carried out at least three days a week.

For those 18-64, the 2½ hours should be a mix of moderate and vigorous intensity activity and spread throughout the week, although additional health benefits are possible if people exercise up to five hours. Those who are older or have some disability should be as physically active as possible and avoid being completely sedentary.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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