How much aerobic activity do most adults need? What about persons with disabilities and pregnant women? Take the quiz to find out.
Reference 1. US Department of Health and Human Services. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Published November 12, 2018. Accessed December 18, 2018.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, outline the amounts and types of physical activity needed to maintain or improve overall health and to reduce the risk of chronic disease.1 These recently updated recommendations offer guidance for specific groups of people, including children, pregnant women, and adults with disabilities and chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Scroll through the slides to test your knowledge of the current guidelines.
Answer: D. One hour per day 7 days per week
According to the 2018 US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years should engage in 1 hour or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day of the week, most of which should be aerobic. Children should engage in vigorous activity at least 3 days per week. Exercise should include muscle-strengthening activity at least 3 days per week, and bone-strengthening activity at least 3 days per week.
Answer: B. At least 150 minutes per week
The guidelines recommend that adults should have at least 150 minutes (2 h, 30 min) to 300 minutes (5 h) of moderate intensity activity per week, or 75 minutes (1 h, 15 min) to 150 minutes (2 h, 30 min) of vigorous aerobic activity per week, with aerobic activity spread throughout the week. A combination of moderate and vigorous exercise is also acceptable. While additional health benefits may be gained from moderate physical activity over 5 hours per week, any amount of moderate to vigorous activity is better than none. Muscle-strengthening exercises of at least moderate intensity for all major muscle groups are recommended on 2 or more days per week.
Note: The 2018 guidelines have eliminated the requirement that adults should exercise in bouts of at least 10 minutes.
Answer: C. At least 150 minutes per week
The guidelines recommend that older adults should have at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity, multicomponent activity per week. If health conditions bar participation in this amount of physical activity, older persons should be as physically active as their conditions allow. Exercise should include balance training and aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
Answer: D. At least 150 minutes per week
The guidelines recommend that during pregnancy and the postpartum period, women should have 150 minutes (2 h, 30 min) of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, spread throughout the week. Women who engaged in vigorous aerobic exercise before pregnancy can continue doing so during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Exercise should be done under the care of a healthcare provider.
Answer: C. At least 75 minutes per week
People whose physical disabilities or chronic conditions allow them to engage in exercise should have 75 minutes (1 h, 15 min) to 150 minutes (2 h, 30 min) of vigorous activity per week, or 150 minutes (2 h, 30 min) to 300 minutes (5 h) of moderate-level physical activity per week. A combination of moderate and vigorous activity is also acceptable, with aerobic activity spread throughout the week. They should also engage in at least moderate-intensity strengthening exercises for all major muscle groups 2 days per week. When they cannot engage in this level of activity, they should avoid inactivity and exercise according to their abilities. Exercise should be done under the care of a healthcare provider.