Thursday, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced the Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act, legislation that would establish physical activity recommendations for children and adults. The bipartisan legislation would call on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue physical activity recommendations based on the latest scientific and medical evidence every ten years. The bill also directs HHS, five years after the release of each set of recommendations, to update reports to highlight continuing physical activity issues.
“The government already provides physical activity recommendations for the public, but this information has not been updated since 2008,” Senator Wicker said. “Recent advances in medical science and technology highlight the need for modern recommendations. This bill would ensure that Americans are provided with reliable, up-to-date, evidence-based health information.”
“As we work on policies to improve the health and wellness of families in Washington state and across the country, it is critical all Americans have clear, scientifically-based information on how physical activities can benefit their health,” said Senator Murray. “Staying active is an important part of living a healthy life, and this legislation will help ensure Americans know how much and what kind of physical activities work best for them.”
Regular physical activity recommendations would complement the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which were first released in 1980, and would ensure HHS continues the legacy of the Physical Activity Guidelines that were released in 2008. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Approximately 1 in 5 adults currently get enough physical activity and fewer than 3 in 10 high school students get the 60 minutes of daily physical activity they need.