ACE Applauds Revisions to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

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But just 26% of men, 19% of women and 20% of adolescents are meeting the standards, officials said, costing the United States health care system $117 billion each year and leading to about 10% of premature deaths.

Guidelines used to begin at age 6, but the new ones say preschoolers ages 3 through 5 should be encouraged to take part in active play throughout the day. According to the guidelines, these low levels of physical activity among Americans have health and economic consequences for the nation, with almost $117 billion dollars in annual healthcare costs and 10 percent of all premature mortality attributable to failure to meet levels of aerobic physical activity recommended in the guidelines.

The guidelines say adults should have at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and two sessions of muscle-strengthening activity a week, while children between the ages of 6-17 should have at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per day and three sessions of muscle-strengthening a week. "That's why we need to come together as a nation to get Americans moving. Our organization is committed to developing programs and advocating for polices that make it easier for everyone to get more physically active, regardless of where they live", said Ivor Benjamin, M.D., American Heart Association president.

The American Heart Association said it will adopt the guidelines as its official recommendations. "Therefore, both reducing sitting time and increasing physical activity will provide benefits".

A major update to the U.S. physical activity guidelines, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, offers a solution.

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.

The previous guidelines stated that only 10-minute bouts of physical activity counted toward meeting the guidelines.

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"There is no mechanism in place requiring kids to move during school and holding school's accountable", Tullie bemoaned.

The advice is similar for older adults, but activities should include things that promote balance to help avoid falls.

The guidelines offer a long, long list of health benefits linked to physical activity: lower risk of diseases and early death, improved cognition and mental health, improved sleep and bone function, and (of course) better weight management, among others.

Physical activity helps manage more chronic health conditions.

Based on new evidence, the updated guidelines say exercise can reduce symptoms of anxiety, slow the progression of hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, and help prevent eight types of cancer in adults.

"The guidelines are right on, but the key is implementation", commented Carl "Chip" J Lavie, MD, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and preventive cardiology at the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans.

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