Physical Activity for Children


The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition recommend that children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 years do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.

    • Aerobic: Most of the 60 minutes or more per day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity on at least 3 days a week.
    • Muscle-strengthening: As part of their 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days a week.
    • Bone-strengthening: As part of their 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days a week.


      Benefits of Physical Activity
      Regular physical activity can help children and adolescents improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as:

      Heart disease.
      Cancer.
      Type 2 diabetes.
      High blood pressure.
      Osteoporosis.
      Obesity

      It is important to provide young people opportunities and encouragement to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety. 

See Chapter 3 of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition

Content source: Division of Population HealthNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotionexternal icon