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Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Adults

What to know

A single session of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity provides immediate benefits for your health. Regular physical activity provides important health benefits for chronic disease prevention.

Benefits of physical activity graphic for adults. All the text from the graphic is on the web page.



  • Sleep: Improves sleep quality
  • Less Anxiety: Reduces feelings of anxiety
  • Blood Pressure: Reduces blood pressure


  • Brain Health: Reduces risks of developing dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) and reduces risk of depression
  • Heart Health: Lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer Prevention: Lowers risk of 8 cancers (bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach)
  • Healthy Weight: Reduces risk of weight gain
  • Bone Strength: Improves bone health
  • Balance and Coordination: Reduces risks of falls

Emerging research suggests physical activity may also help boost immune function12.

Source: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition.

See similar content in Spanish.

  1. Nieman D, Wentz L. The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system. J Sport Health Sci. 2019 May;8(3): 201-17.
  2. Jones A, Davison G . Exercise, immunity, and illness. Muscle and Exercise Physiology. 2019;317-44.