National Physical Fitness National Physical Fitness
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Only one in five U.S. adults get enough physical activity to gain substantial health benefits. Learn more about increasing your physical activity and how to increase physical activity in your community.

Physical activity plays an important role in our health. Not only does physical activity help control weight, but it can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Physical activity also helps strengthen bones and muscles, and improve mental health. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study shows that in 2011, only one in five U.S. adults get enough physical activity to gain substantial health benefits.

The Amount of Physical Activity Adults Need

Advice to follow from the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans:


Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity that requires moderate effort. You need to do this type of activity for at least 10 minutes.

Muscle Strengthening

Adults should also do strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. Strengthening activities should include all major muscle groups. Strengthening activities include push-ups, sit ups, and lifting weights.

Some ways you may get physical activity include walking, running, gardening, dancing, playing basketball, and resistance exercises. Watch these videos for ways to get started and learn more.

Ways to Increase Physical Activity in States and Communities

The CDC works with state and local governments, as well as communities, schools, and work sites to increase participation in physical activities. Strategies for increasing physical activity include:

Consider walkability and other physical activity in community design. Create or enhance places for physical activity with information and outreach that lets people know where these are. Use communitywide campaigns to provide health education and social support for physical activity.