Physical Activity in Children

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recognizes that regular physical activity is essential for healthy growth and development and encourages that all children and adolescents accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity every day.

Regular physical activity is correlated with numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk of obesity. Additionally, regular physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive and academic performance and promote psychological well-being.

Family physicians can be leaders in promoting regular physical activity in their patients and communities by partnering with individuals, families, and schools. The AAFP recognizes that interventions must go beyond individual behavior-change strategies, and address the environmental factors that influence opportunities to engage in healthy activities. The AAFP encourages its members to become aware of the conditions in their communities that promote or hinder healthy activities and to partner with individuals, families, and schools to reduce barriers to engaging in physical activity. (2006) (2018 COD)