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Chronic Conditions and Disabilities

Key points

  • Adults with chronic health conditions or disabilities can be physically active.
  • Regular physical activity provides many health benefits.
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Why it's important

Regular physical activity provides important health benefits for people with chronic health conditions or disabilities. These persons include cancer survivors and those with:

  • Dementia and other cognitive disorders.
  • Hypertension and stroke.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Parkinson's disease.
  • Spinal cord injury.
  • Type 2 diabetes.


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  • Supports daily living activities and independence.
  • Improves sleep quality.
  • Helps control weight.
  • Helps improve mental health by reducing depression and anxiety.
  • Lowers the risk for early death, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
  • Decreases pain and improves function in people with osteoarthritis.
  • Improves cardiovascular health, muscle fitness, and brain health.


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Some physical activity is better than none—be as active as you are able!

Adults with chronic conditions and disabilities

Adults with chronic health conditions or disabilities who are able should:

  • Get at least 150 minutes (for example, 30 minutes 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity a week.


  • Get at least 2 days a week of muscle-strengthening activities that include all major muscle groups.

Examples of physical activity


  • Walking, wheelchair rolling, or biking to places.
  • Swimming or water aerobics.


  • Some yoga postures.
  • Strengthening exercises using exercise bands, weight machines, or handheld weights.

Consulting a health care professional‎

If you have chronic health conditions or disabilities, consult a health care professional or physical activity specialist about appropriate types and amounts of physical activity. Learn more.

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Active People, Healthy Nation. Creating an Active America, Together.

Want additional tips and resources to be active?
Learn about Active People, Healthy NationSM, CDC’s national initiative to help people be more physically active.