Jump to content

Why Should People be Active?

Too few Americans get the recommended amount of physical activity.

  • Only one in four adults and one in five high school students fully meet physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
  • About 31 million adults aged 50 years or older are inactive, meaning they get no physical activity beyond that of daily living.


Physical inactivity costs lives and dollars.

  • Inactivity contributes to one in 10 premature deaths.
  • Inadequate levels of physical activity are associated with $117 billion in annual healthcare costs.


Many Americans do not have safe or convenient places to be active.

  • Less than half of the U.S. population lives within one-half mile of a park.
  • Only 40% of school-aged youth who live a mile or less from school report that they usually walk to or from school.


Physically inactivity affects our national security and military readiness.

  • Both obesity and low levels of physical fitness increase the risk of injury among active military personnel.
  • Nearly one in four young adults are too heavy to serve in our military.



Benefits of physical activity


Among the many benefits of physical activity are:

  • Lower risk of:
    • Early death
    • Coronary heart disease
    • Stroke
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol or triglycerides
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Colon cancer
    • Breast cancer
  • Prevention of weight gain
  • Weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake
  • Improved cardiorespiratory (aerobic) fitness and muscular strength
  • Prevention of falls
  • Reduced depression


Read More Articles About Exercise