Physical Activity

Surgeon General Report

A Report of the Surgeon General
Physical Activity and Health: The Link Between Physical Activity and Morbidity and Mortality


Regular physical activity that is performed on most days of the week reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States. Regular physical activity improves health in the following ways:

  • Reduces the risk of dying prematurely.
  • Reduces the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease.
  • Reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure.
  • Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.
  • Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.
  • Helps control weight.
  • Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
  • Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling.
  • Promotes psychological well-being.


Millions of Americans suffer from illnesses that can be prevented or improved through regular physical activity.

  • 13.5 million people have coronary heart disease.
  • 1.5 million people suffer from a heart attack in a given year.
  • 8 million people have adult-onset (non-insulin–dependent) diabetes.
  • 95,000 people are newly diagnosed with colon cancer each year.
  • 250,000 people suffer from a hip fractures each year.
  • 50 million people have high blood pressure.
  • Over 60 million people (a third of the population) are overweight.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What everyone wants to know...

So, how much physical activity do I need?
That’s the big question! How much exercise do you need to stay healthy? Read what the experts say.

Tips for meeting the guidelines.
Now that you know how much exercise you need, how can you fit enough exercise into a busy schedule? Here are a few suggestions.

Examples of moderate amounts of physical activity.
Even chores can count towards exercise goals! Check out what counts and how much you need.

Physical Activity Information Resources

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
The site offers information on the importance of activity for all age groups including children and seniors. Topic areas include the importance of staying active, the amount of calories burned for different activities and how much activity you need as well as how to get started on a fitness program.

Healthier U.S.Gov
This website offers an “Adult Fitness Test” that can be taken online.  Links are available for getting started and keeping track of your fitness program.  There is also information for children.
From the Department of Health & Human Services, this site offers a wealth of information on physical fitness for all ages.  This is worth a visit!

The President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports
This is not just for kids anymore.  This site has a guide for HOW to fit physical activity into your daily routine. 

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Another site through the Department of Health & Human Services, this site offers links to Women: Stay Healthy at Any Age: Your Checklist for Health” & “Men: Stay Healthy at Any Age: Your Checklist for Health”

United States Department of Agriculture
The USDA developed this site to promote their “Eat Smart Play Hard” initiative.  This program is aimed for parents and caregivers about how to eat right and serve as a role model for your children.

This is the Army’s interactive website for health promotion and fitness.  There is a wealth of information on this site and most definitely worth a visit.

The following are leaders in the fitness and sports medicine industry.