Being physically active has many benefits and is one of the most important things people can do to improve their health. Regular physical activity can reduce the burden of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers, and can prevent early death. Physical activity can also help people with chronic diseases manage their conditions. Physical activity has other health benefits, too. It can help people manage weight and prevent falls. Physical activity can even reduce depression and may improve cognitive abilities.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition, any amount of physical activity is beneficial. Ideally, though, adults should do at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity (like walking), 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or a combination each week.
This indicator is part of Healthy Vermonters 2020 State Health Assessment that documents the health status of Vermonters at the start of the decade and the population health indicators and goals that will guide the work of public health through 2020.
This indicator is also part of the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), a five-year plan that prioritizes broad Healthy Vermonters 2020 goals: reducing prevalence of chronic disease, reducing prevalence of substance abuse and mental illness, and improving childhood immunizations. The SHIP is a subset of HV2020 and details strategies and planned interventions.