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Editorial
November 20, 2018

New Physical Activity Guidelines: A Call to Activity for Clinicians and Patients

Author Affiliations
  • 1Hartford Healthcare, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut
  • 2Department of Physiology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
JAMA. 2018;320(19):1983-1984. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.16070

This issue of JAMA includes a summary of the new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition.1 These guidelines update those presented in 2008 and expand the medical conditions for which physical activity is likely beneficial. The final recommendations are based on a systematic literature review by a committee of exercise and health experts and include only those recommendations judged to have strong, or moderately strong, scientific support. Achieving the guideline-recommended levels of physical activity will be difficult for the entire nation, given that approximately 80% of US adults and adolescents do not presently accumulate sufficient physical activity for optimum health.1 Efforts to increase physical activity among people in the United States will require the cooperation of many sectors of society including clinicians, other health care professionals, and health care organizations. Achieving these recommendations will substantially improve individual and population health. So what are the key messages for clinicians, and what should clinicians tell patients?

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