Awareness and knowledge of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

J Phys Act Health. 2014 May;11(4):693-8. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2012-0171. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


Background: To estimate the proportion of U.S. adults aware and knowledgeable of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Methods: Analysis is based on a cross-sectional national sample of adults in the 2009 (n = 4281) HealthStyles survey. We estimated the prevalence of adults who reported awareness of government physical activity guidelines and who were knowledgeable of the currently recommended moderate-intensity physical activity guideline (ie, 150 minutes per week) from the 2008 Guidelines.

Results: In 2009, the percent of adults who reported being aware of government physical activity (PA) guidelines was 36.1%. The percent of adults knowledgeable of the moderate-intensity physical activity guideline was less than 1% (0.56%).

Conclusions: Most U.S. adults lack sufficient awareness and knowledge of the 2008 Guidelines, putting them at risk for failure to meet them. The nation needs more effective communication strategies to translate and disseminate PA guidelines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Young Adult