On November 12, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion released newly updated physical activity guidelines for Americans. This second edition is based on new scientific evidence showing that physical activity has even more benefits than previously known. Physical activity fosters normal growth and development, can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, and can make people feel and sleep better. Many of the benefits take effect immediately after physical activity and even short time periods of activity can be beneficial.
The original guidelines contained physical activity recommendations for youth and adults to safely get the physical activity they need to maintain their health. Now, the updates include guidance for preschool-aged children for the first time. The guidelines also include evidence for even more health benefits of physical activity, discussion of sedentary behavior, and tested strategies for physical activity promotion. The 10-minute bout length requirement for a physical activity has been removed because new research shows that every little bit counts.