Physical activity reduces the risk for at least three types of cancer and improves outcomes for cancer survivors. However, only about half of adults meet federal physical activity guidelines. AICR advocates for regular updates to federal physical activity guidelines, physical activity in all policies, and promoting physical activity through the health care system.
How We Are Taking Action
Physical Activity Guidelines
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the latest Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2018. However, unlike for federal dietary guidelines, there is no law requiring that the Physical Activity Guidelines be updated.
- AICR has endorsed the Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act, which instructs HHS to provide physical activity guidelines for the general public based on peer-reviewed evidence at least every ten years. AICR will continue to monitor and advocate for physical activity recommendations that are current and based on the most authoritative evidence.
- Following the release of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines, we published a blog post by a former Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee member to help consumers better understand the Guidelines and find ways to be more active in everyday life, as well as to help them understand the link between physical activity and cancer.
Physical Activity Assessment, Prescription, and Referral
Physical activity is often not discussed in health care encounters as part of standard care. We support policy and systems changes to empower health care providers to seamlessly integrate physical activity clinical measures into patient care plans and help make physical activity prescriptions a standard of care.
Physical Activity in All Policies
AICR advocates for a range of policies that elevate physical activity as a priority across sectors and agencies.
- AICR advocates for robust funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that can support physical activity research and interventions.
- We support efforts to bring physical activity to the national forefront, such as through the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. As a conference pillar focuses on physical activity, we submitted comments to inform conference leaders on how the federal government can support policies that promote physical activity for cancer prevention and survivorship.
Moving Through Cancer
- To promote physical activity for those who have experienced a cancer diagnosis, AICR supports Moving Through Cancer, an initiative led by the American College of Sports Medicine, which aims to make exercise part of the standard of care in oncology by 2029.
Coalitions Helping Us Achieve This Goal
Physical Activity Alliance
The Physical Activity Alliance (PAA) is a national coalition of diverse partners that works to “lead efforts to create, support, and advocate policy and system changes that enable all Americans to enjoy physically active lives.” As a founding member, AICR collaborates with PAA to advance its physical activity policy agenda.