U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., today celebrated Senate passage of their “Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act” (S. 1608). The bipartisan proposal will require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish regular updates to their recommendations for physical activity, the “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.”
“Being physically active can help all Americans improve their health and reduce the risks of chronic diseases,” Wicker said. “Our proposal will ensure the public has the most up-to-date, scientific information possible so that they can stay active and, using existing guidance on diet and nutrition, make better choices for their well-being.”
“As we gather more information on how to live longer and healthier lives, we should be sharing these findings with the public,” said Brown. “Regularly updating physical activity guidelines and best practices will help ensure all Americans have the information they need to stay active and make healthier choices.”
“We know physical activity is critical to physical health and overall wellbeing,” Capito said. “These updates will ensure Americans have the information and recommendations they need to stay active and healthy.”
“I’m committed to working with educators and health care providers to fight obesity and give Arizonans the tools they need to lead healthy lives,” said Sinema.
In response to rising obesity rates across the U.S., HHS developed the first Physical Activity Guidelines in 2008 and published a second edition in 2018. These recommendations provide science-based information and guidance on the amount and types of physical activity Americans need for health benefits.
The senators’ legislation will codify the existing program and ensure that HHS updates the guidelines regularly with reliable, evidence-based health information.
Specifically, the legislation will require HHS to:
- Update and publish Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans every ten years based on the best and latest scientific evidence.
- Review best practices and continuing barriers to physical activity every five years, midway between reports.
The legislation is supported by the American Diabetes Association, American Physical Therapy Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and American College of Sports Medicine, among other organizations.
View the full text of the legislation here.