SECTION 7: INCREASING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY LEVELS OF AMERICANS Taking Action: Increasing Physical Activity Levels of Americans The low level of physical activity among Americans is a major contributor to the burden of chronic disease. This burden is costly in terms of quality of life and economic resources needed to provide medical care. Like life in other modern societies around the world, life in the United States requires very little daily physical activity. The amount of physical activity we do is largely a matter of personal choice and the environmental conditions under which we live. So far, little progress has been made in meeting our national health objectives for physical activity. Based on a careful review of the science, the Physical Activity Guidelines provides essential guidance to help Americans achieve the health benefits of regular physical activity. However, providing guidance by itself is not enough to produce change. Action is necessary. Regular physical activity needs to be made the easy choice for Americans. To accomplish this goal, public health research suggests the use of a “socio-ecologic” approach.
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