The US government has modified its recommendations for physical activity for people of all ages. Here is all the information you require.
We all know that we should exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. But few are aware of the sources of these suggestions. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is where they are released. This US government paper offers advice based on the best available scientific data to assist people in maintaining or enhancing their health.
The magazine has been in existence for almost ten years. The Office for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has just released a completely updated second edition because it has altered throughout the years. You can read the 100+ page pdf at this site if you have the time or are bored at work.
What has actually changed?
The fundamental guidelines remain the same for older adults and active adults. They require between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. This translates to a minimum of 2,000 brisk walking steps per day. However, it could be time to reactivate your gym membership! At least twice a week, such activity should be supplemented with muscle-strengthening exercises like weightlifting or pushups.
The recommendations for adults have been modified slightly in that they now incorporate research on the significance of standing up more often. People now spend more time sitting down than standing because of modern televisions, laptops, and autos. That is obviously not a good thing. A typical person spends more than half of their day sitting down.
William Kraus, MD, a professor at Duke University and one of the committee members for the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, states, “We looked at sedentary behaviour and identified a connection between sitting duration and mortality.”
The exponential effect is pretty alarming. Try to get out of your chair whenever you can, even if you have a desk job. For example, talk to a coworker in person rather than on the phone.
Only 10-minute periods of physical activity were considered sufficient to achieve the daily recommendations in the initial Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. That has since changed. No matter how long the day is, the new edition urges grownups to move about frequently. All of this works to counteract the harmful consequences of prolonged sitting. Activity trackers’ “Move Reminders” can be useful in this situation.
Dr. Kraus continued, “We found that it doesn’t have to be done in 10-minute increments—every minute of movement that is moderate intensity or more counts.”
“That feels really liberating.”
Is Fitbit focusing on the market for kids’ fitness trackers?
Other age groups are covered by recommendations in the paper. For kids aged 3 to 5, there are revised essential recommendations, and for kids aged 6 to 17, there are new recommendations.
Children in preschool should be encouraged by their parents to play. We do not, however, mean video games. The focus is on engaging in light-to-strengthen your active play for at least three hours every day. To promote their growth and development, this is crucial.
Teenagers should continue to strive for 60 minutes or more per day of moderate-to-vigorous activity. Walking counts because it causes their hearts to beat more quickly. Of course, it’s a good idea to mix this up with more strenuous exercise since this will strengthen their muscles and bones. Sports like soccer, tennis, jumping rope, and playground equipment climbing are some good examples.
That’s basically it. The revised rules are unambiguous. To stay healthy and lower their chance of developing chronic diseases, everyone should move around more and sit less. Beyond what is suggested above, physical activity has additional advantages.
A smartwatch or fitness tracker can help you measure your efforts and may give you an extra incentive to adhere to these new rules. For kids and teenagers, there is also an expanding selection of devices.