Health Benefits Associated With Regular Physical Activity

 

Children and Adolescents

Strong evidence                                                                                     

  • Improved cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness                                            
  • Improved bone health
  • Improved cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers
  • Favorable body composition

Moderate evidence

  • Reduced symptoms of depression

 

Adults and Older Adults

Strong evidence

  • Lower risk of early death
  • Lower risk of coronary heart disease
  • Lower risk of stroke
  • Lower risk of high blood pressure
  • Lower risk of adverse blood lipid profile
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Lower risk of metabolic syndrome
  • Lower risk of colon cancer
  • lower risk of breast cancer
  • Prevention of weight gain
  • Weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake
  • Improved cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness
  • Prevention of falls
  • Reduced symptoms of depression
  • Better cognitive function (for older adults)

Moderate to strong evidence

  • Better functional health (for older adults)
  • Reduced abdominal obesity

Moderate evidence

  • Lower risk of hip fracture
  • Lower risk of lung cancer
  • Lower risk of endometrial cancer
  • Weight maintenance after weight loss
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved sleep quality

 

 

 

*U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2008). 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: Be Active, Healthy and Happy.

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