Regular physical activity can have a positive effect on health at any age. Today's lifestyles, however, can often be characterised as sedentary. Therefore, the promotion of physical activity and sports has become an integral part of public health measures. The representative data of adults aged 18 to 79 years in Germany obtained from the "German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults" (DEGS1) provide an overview of self-estimated current physical activity behaviour. The results show that one third of the adult population claims to pay close attention to reaching a sufficient level of physical activity and one fourth participates in sports for at least 2 h/week on a regular basis. Thus, the percentage of adults regularly engaged in sports has increased compared to the previous "German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998". Still, four out of five adults do not achieve at least 2.5 h/week of moderate-intensity physical activity as recommended by the World Health Organisation. Consequently, future individual-level and population-level interventions should focus on target group-specific measures while continuing to promote regular physical activity in all segments of the population. An English full-text version of this article is available at SpringerLink as supplemental.