Being physically active is one of the most important steps that people of all ages can take to improve their health.

Children and Adolescent

Strength of the scientific evidenceHealth Benefits
  • Improved cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular fitness
  • Favourable body composition
  • Improved bone health
  • Improved cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers
  • Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression

Adults and Older Adults

Strength of the scientific evidenceHealth Benefits
  • Lower risk of early death
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Lower risk of stroke
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Lower risk of high blood pressure
  • Lower risk of adverse blood lipid profile
  • Lower risk of metabolic syndrome
  • Lower risk of colon cancer
  • Lower risk of breast cancer (females)
  • Prevention of weight gain or promotion of weight loss (when combined with diet)
  • Improved cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness
  • Prevention of falls
  • Reduce depression
  • Better cognitive function (older adults)
Moderate to Strong
  • Better functional health (older adults)
  • Reduced abdominal obesity
  • Weight maintenance after weight loss
  • Lower risk of hip fracture
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Lower risk of lung cancer
  • Lower risk of endometrial cancers (females)


Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, 2008. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services.