But just 26% of men, 19% of women and 20% of adolescents are meeting the standards, officials said, costing the USA health care system $117 billion each year and leading to about 10% of premature deaths.
Sallis is an active living researcher who is available to discuss the newly updated physical activity guidelines.
The guidelines and related reports, published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, say the failure to meet the recommended levels of aerobic physical activity leads to almost $117 billion in annual health care costs and 10% of all premature death. On this point, the new guidelines haven't changed: Adults need a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity.
- The JAMA Viewpoint, "Physical Activity Guidelines for Health and Prosperity in the United States", by Brett P. Giroir, M.D., and Don Wright, M.D., M.P.H., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
But a problem with that target is that it can sound impossibly daunting to those who do little physical activity, or feel they don't have the time or ability to exercise.
The advisory committee developed the physical activity guidelines based on the results of a systematic review assessing the science behind physical activity and health.
"The American Heart Association has long recognized physical activity as a proven way to lower chances of heart disease and live a longer, healthier life".
"Physical inactivity contributes to control of non-communicable conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease that can be prevented by simply moving more", said James Sallis, PhD, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
A single period of sustained activity has immediate health benefits, including reduced anxiety and blood pressure, improved quality of sleep and improved insulin sensitivity.
Physical activity helps manage more chronic health conditions.
The old message was you needed at least 10-minute bouts of aerobic activity for it to count toward the goal of 150 minutes a week. Evidence suggests that more dedicated, accessible spaces in which to be physically active make it easier for individuals and communities to incorporate this into a daily routine.
An important takeaway from this guidance is that any amount of physical of activity has some health benefits. In 2008, when the first "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" were released, government scientists could assert only that adequate levels of physical activity helped reduce the risk for breast and colon cancer.
The new guidelines prescribe activity throughout the day for preschool children to enhance growth and development.
While the debate around health insurance and "pre-existing conditions" continues to rage in political circles the US government is now officially begging people to take care of themselves a bit better.