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 Physical Activity Resources for Health Professionals
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 Key Physical Activity Resources
Recommendations and Guidelines  Press Releases  MMWRs
Recent Manuscripts   Fact Sheets    


graphic of a person on a bicycleDespite the clear health benefits of regular physical activity, over half of US adults do not engage in physical activity at levels consistent with public health recommendations.1  In the Healthy People 2010 national health objectives,2 physical activity is listed as a leading health indicator. Goals have been developed to improve levels of physical activity among adults, adolescents, and children.

Affecting physical activity behaviors requires understanding and approaching it not only from the individual level but also from a broader social ecological perspective. That is, understanding the individual's relationship to his or her family, community, culture, and life stage. Understanding the determinants of physical activity becomes the cornerstone in setting policies, recommendations, and guidelines that better enable individuals and communities to engage in physical activity as part of a healthier lifestyle and helps to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions.

The Physical Activity Resources for Health Professionals section offers information and tools for personnel in state and local health departments, education agencies, universities, community coalitions, organizations that fund public health programs, health care systems, and others who have an interest in or responsibility for increasing physical activity. It provides key reference documents, data and surveillance resources, information to assist you with program planning and evaluation, and ideas for physical activity promotion.

Selected Resources

NEW Physical Education and Academic Achievement in Elementary School: Data From the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study*
This study examined the association between time spent in physical education and academic achievement in a longitudinal study of students in kindergarten through fifth grade. A small but significant benefit for academic achievement in mathematics and reading was observed for girls enrolled in higher amounts of physical education.

Prevalence of Regular Physical Activity Among Adults ― United States, 2001 and 2005
MMWR November 23, 2007 / 56(46);1209–1212
To examine changes in the prevalence of regular physical activity from 2001 to 2005, CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, from 2001 to 2005, the prevalence of regular physical activity increased 8.6% among women overall (from 43.0% to 46.7%) and 3.5% among men (from 48.0% to 49.7%). White men and women had a substantially higher prevalence of regular physical activity in both 2001 and 2005 compared to the other racial/ethnic groups. However, these disparities were narrowed slightly in 2005 as a result of increases in activity among African Americans, Hispanic women, and women of other minority races.
Also available in print-friendly formatPDF file (PDF-3290k)

Healthy People 2010
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010: Understanding and Improving Health. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, November 2000.

U.S. Physical Activity Statistics
What percent of the population in your city and state is physically active? Find out in the physical activity statistics database. Search by demographics and physical activity levels for a metropolitan area, state, or national estimate.

The Community Guide to Preventive Services: Physical Activity
The Community Guide's systematic review of the effectiveness of selected population based interventions designed to increase levels of physical activity focused on interventions in three areas: 1) Informational approaches to increasing physical activity; 2) Behavioral and social approaches to increasing physical activity; and 3)Environmental and policy changes to increasing physical activity.

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1Prevalence of Physical Activity, Including Lifestyle Activities Among Adults — United States, 2000–2001, MMWR August 15, 2003, 52(32):764–769.

2U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010. 2nd ed. With Understanding and Improving Health and Objectives for Improving Health. 2 vols. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, November 2000.

PDF Document Icon Please note: Some of these publications are available for download only as *.pdf files. These files require Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to be viewed. Please review the information on downloading and using Acrobat Reader software.

* Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

Page last reviewed: September 2, 2008
Page last updated: September 2, 2008
Content Source: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion