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National AAHPERD convention keynote addresses physical activity guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

by Sarajane Quinn, HPERD Acquisition Editor

The keynote speaker at the AAHPERD National Convention this year was Rear Admiral Penelope Slade-Sawyer. She is the Deputy deputy assistant secretary for health, disease prevention and health promotion. Her topic was "The New U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines". The guidelines were released by HHS (Health and Human Services) on October 7, 2008. Rear Admiral Slade-Sawyer outlined the scientific process used to help develop these guidelines and the next steps to be taken to implement them.

Human Kinetics has been ahead of the curve and is ready and poised to help address these guidelines through many of their publications. The guidelines have been designed to help people of all ages fit physical activity into their live in an enjoyable way. Our books can assist individuals, groups, communities, school districts, and states in developing and implementing healthy and enjoyable physical activity programs into every aspect of their day and life.


In the October 2008 news release, HHS identified the key guidelines by groups:


"Children and Adolescents -- One hour or more of moderate or vigorous aerobic physical activity a day, including vigorous intensity physical activity at least three days a week. Examples of moderate intensity aerobic activities include hiking, skateboarding, bicycle riding and brisk walking. Vigorous intensity aerobic activities include bicycle riding, jumping rope, running and sports such as soccer, basketball and ice or field hockey. Children and adolescents should incorporate muscle-strengthening activities, such as rope climbing, sit-ups, and tug-of war, three days a week. Bone-strengthening activities, such as jumping rope, running and skipping, are recommended three days a week.


Adults -- Adults gain substantial health benefits from two and one half hours a week of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity, or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity. Walking briskly, water aerobics, ballroom dancing and general gardening are examples of moderate intensity aerobic activities. Vigorous intensity aerobic activities include racewalking, jogging or running, swimming laps, jumping rope and hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes. For more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to five hours a week moderate-intensity or two and one half hours a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Adults should incorporate muscle strengthening activities, such as weight training, push-ups, sit-ups and carrying heavy loads or heavy gardening, at least two days a week.


Older adults -- Older adults should follow the guidelines for other adults when it is within their physical capacity. If a chronic condition prohibits their ability to follow those guidelines, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow. If they are at risk of falling, they should also do exercises that maintain or improve balance.


Women during pregnancy -- Healthy women should get at least two and one half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week during pregnancy and the time after delivery, preferably spread through the week. Pregnant women who habitually engage in vigorous aerobic activity or who are highly active can continue during pregnancy and the time after delivery, provided they remain healthy and discuss with their health care provider how and when activity should be adjusted over time.


Adults with disabilities -- Those who are able should get at least two and one half hours of moderate aerobic activity a week, or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. They should incorporate muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups two or more days a week. When they are not able to meet the guidelines, they should engage in regular physical activity according to their abilities and should avoid inactivity.


People with chronic medical conditions -- Adults with chronic conditions get important health benefits from regular physical activity. They should do so with the guidance of a health care provider."


The physical activity plan will benefit by using our publications which promote health, fitness, and appropriate program development. Human Kinetic will certainly be a big part of helping our nation become more physically active and healthy.


For more information visit "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans," at and




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