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The Current Public Health Physical Activity Message

The current 1996 Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity, along with the American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention support the following guidelines for the promotion of physical activity:

Every US adult should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.

AND

All adolescents should ... be physically active daily, or nearly every day, as part of games, sports, work, transportation, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise in the context of family, school, and community activities and that adolescents engage in three or more sessions per week of activities that last 20 minutes or more at a time and require moderate to vigorous levels of exertion.

It is also recommended that efforts to promote this message include behavioral elements that promote regular lifelong physical activity. For the successful dissemination of this message to occur, educational materials should be carefully designed with these guidelines in mind and an awareness of the needs of special populations such as the socioeconomically disadvantaged, less educated, persons with disabilities, older adults, and sedentary individuals who are initiating an exercise program.

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