Guidelines for school and community programs to promote lifelong physical activity among young people. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

MMWR Recomm Rep. 1997 Mar 7;46(RR-6):1-36.


Regular physical activity is linked to enhanced health and to reduced risk for all-cause mortality and the development of many chronic diseases in adults. However, many U.S. adults are either sedentary or less physically active than recommended. Children and adolescents are more physically active than adults, but participation in physical activity declines in adolescence. School and community programs have the potential to help children and adolescents establish lifelong, healthy physical activity patterns. This report summarizes recommendations for encouraging physical activity among young people so that they will continue to engage in physical activity in adulthood and obtain the benefits of physical activity throughout life. These guidelines were developed by CDC in collaboration with experts from universities and from national, federal, and voluntary agencies and organizations. They are based on an in-depth review of research, theory, and current practice in physical education, exercise science, health education, and public health. The guidelines include recommendations about 10 aspects of school and community programs to promote lifelong physical activity among young people; policies that promote enjoyable, lifelong physical activity; physical and social environments that encourage and enable physical activity; physical education curricula and instruction; health education curricula and instruction; extracurricular physical activity programs that meet the needs and interests of students involvement of parents and guardians in physical activity instruction and programs for young people, personnel training; health services for children and adolescents; developmentally appropriate community sports and recreation programs that are attractive to young people; and regular evaluation of physical activity instruction, programs, and facilities.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Community Health Services / standards*
  • Curriculum
  • Exercise
  • Health Education
  • Health Promotion / standards*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Policy Making
  • Program Development
  • Public Health Administration / standards*
  • Recreation
  • Schools / standards*
  • United States