Why Should People be Active?

Too few American get the recommended amount of physical activity.

Only 1 in 4 adults fully meet physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle strengthening activities.

About 31 million adults aged 50 or older are inactive, meaning they get no physical activity beyond that of daily living.

Physical inactivity costs lives and dollars.

Inactivity contributes to 1 in 10 premature deaths.

Physical activity could prevent: 1 in 8 cases of breast cancer. 1 in 8 cases of colorectal cancer. 1 in 12 cases of diabetes. 1 in 15 cases of heart disease.

Inadequate levels of physical activity are associated with $117 billion in annual healthcare costs.

Many Americans do not have a safe or convenient places to be active.

Only 40% of school-aged youth who live a mile or less from school report that they usually walk to school.

Physical inactivity impacts our national security and military readiness.

Both obesity and low levels of physical fitness increase the risk for injury among active military personnel.

Nearly 1 in 4 young adults are too heavy to serve in the military.

71% of young people in the U.S. would not be able to join the military if they wanted to.

Icon: People stretching

Too few Americans get the recommended amount of physical activity.

  • Only 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 high school students fully meet physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
  • About 31 million adults aged 50 years or older are inactive, meaning they get no physical activity beyond that of daily living.
Icon: Money

Physical inactivity costs lives and dollars.

  • Inactivity contributes to 1 in 10 premature deaths.
  • Inadequate levels of physical activity are associated with $117 billion in annual healthcare costs.
Icon: A person walking on a trail.

Many Americans do not have safe or convenient places to be active.

  • Less than half of the U.S. population lives within one-half mile of a park.1
  • Only 40% of school-aged youth who live a mile or less from school report that they usually walk to or from school.
Icon: A person walking with crutches.

Physical inactivity affects our national security and military readiness.

  • Both obesity and low levels of physical fitness increase the risk for injury among active military personnel.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 young adults are too heavy to serve in our military.
Benefits of Physical Activity

Among the many benefits of physical activity are:

  • Lower risk of:
    • Early death.
    • Coronary heart disease.
    • Stroke.
    • High blood pressure.
    • High cholesterol or triglycerides.
    • Type 2 diabetes.
    • Metabolic syndrome.
    • Colon cancer.
    • Breast cancer.
  • Prevention of weight gain.
  • Weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake.
  • Improved cardiorespiratory (aerobic) fitness and muscular strength.
  • Prevention of falls.
  • Reduced depression.