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Are US adults meeting physical activity guidelines?

July 26, 2019

Bottom Line: The proportion of U.S. adults adhering to the "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services didn't significantly improve between 2007 and 2016 but time spent sitting increased. The first edition of the federal guidelines recommending types and duration of physical activity were released in 2008 and updated in 2018, including a recommendation to spend less time sitting. This study used nationally representative survey data from about 27,000 adults to examine adherence to the recommendations for aerobic activity, as well as sedentary behavior from 2007 to 2016. Study authors report 65.2% met the guidelines for aerobic activity in 2015-2016, compared with 63.2% in 2007-2008, while time spent sitting increased from 5.7 hours per day in 2007-2008 to 6.4 hours per day in 2015-2016. The proportion of people not meeting the recommendations for aerobic activity and sitting more than six hours a day increased from 16.1% to 18.8% during this same period. A limitation of the study is that the information on physical activity and sitting time was self-reported.

Authors: Wei Bao, M.D., Ph.D., University of Iowa, Iowa City, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.7597)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Wednesday and Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

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