January 2009 Issue
New Physical Activity Guidelines: Do You Measure Up? Here’s How You Can
Whether you love it or hate it, chances are you know that physical activity is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle. But despite being fully aware of its benefits, Americans have shown little increase in activity levels in the past decade, according to surveys. This, plus mounting concern over the growing obesity epidemic and its associated health risks (and costs), has triggered the U.S. government to rethink how it conveys the importance of physical activity to overall health. As a result, this past October, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued the government’s first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, outlining exactly how much and what kinds of activity are needed to help Americans control their weight and reduce their risk of major health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and some cancers.
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