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Why It Matters

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Only half of adults get the physical activity they need to help reduce and prevent chronic diseases.

Two human figures with the text 1 in 2

About 1 in 2 adults live with a chronic disease. About half of this group have two or more.

Physical Activity Saves Lives and Protects Health

Getting enough physical activity could prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths

It could also prevent:

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1 in 8

cases of breast cancer

Large intestine

1 in 8

cases of colorectal cancer

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1 in 12

cases of diabetes

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1 in 15

cases of heart disease

Not Getting Enough Physical Activity Costs Money

177 billion dollars in annual health care costs are associated with inadequate physical activity.

Physical Activity Benefits Communities

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Building active and walkable communities can help:

  • Increase levels of retail economic activity and employment
  • Increase property values
  • Support neighborhood revitalization
  • Reduce health care costs

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Walkable communities can improve safety for people who walk, ride bicycles, and drive.

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Physically active people tend to take fewer sick days.

Physical Activity Builds a Healthy and Strong America

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Benefits for Children

  • Improves aerobic fitness
  • Improves muscular fitness
  • Improves bone health
  • Promotes favorable body composition
  • Improves attention and some measures of academic performance (with school physical activity programs)

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Benefits for Adults

  • Lowers risk of high blood pressure
  • Lowers risk of stroke
  • Improves aerobic fitness
  • Improves mental health
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Reduces arthritis symptoms
  • Prevents weight gain

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Benefits for Healthy Aging

  • Reduces risk of falling
  • Improves balance
  • Improves joint mobility
  • Extends years of active life
  • Helps prevent weak bones and muscle loss
  • Delays onset of cognitive decline

Impact on Military Readiness

Four adults and the US Map

About 1 in 4 Young Adults are too heavy to serve in our military.

“Long-term military readiness is at risk unless a large-scale change in physical activity and nutrition takes place in America.”

Mission: Readiness

Military Leaders for Kids