Physical Activity FAQs

The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance is dedicated to insuring the long term success of the NPAP and the promotion of physical activity to the American public. A key to this success is the dissemination of accurate, scientifically based, and peer reviewed information regarding the benefits, guidelines, and safety of physical activity and exercise. The following information answers many of the most frequently asked questions related to physical activity. For additional information or to speak with an expert visit the NPAP Contact Us page or the ACSM Media Room. [SOURCE: DHHS – National Physical Activity Guideline for Americans]

View the FAQs by selecting one of the categories below. View as PDF

What do we know about the health benefits of physical activity?

Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes. Some physical activity is better than none. For most health outcomes, additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity Increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration. Most health benefits occur with at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity. Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial. Health benefits of physical activity occur for children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in every studied racial and ethnic group. Health benefits of physical activity are attainable for people with disabilities. The benefits of physical activity outweigh the risks of injury and heart attack.

Do the benefits of physical activity apply to everyone?

Yes, the Physical Activity Guidelines are for Americans aged 6 years and older. The Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee did not review evidence for children younger than age 6, although physical activity for infants and young children is necessary for healthy growth and development. Children younger than age 6 should do physical activity appropriate for their age and stage of development.

Oliver Bartzsch is an experienced medical professional with over 15 years of professional experience. With a passion for medicine, fitness, and personal growth, he is always willing to challenge himself to accomplish tasks and especially to provide accurate medical information to people. Oliver is a long-time medical editor for multiple sites. With more than 10 years of medical writing experience, he has completed over 350 projects with both individual and corporate clients.


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