Overview: A physically active lifestyle has numerous physical and mental health benefits for patients of all ages. Despite these significant benefits, a majority of Americans do not meet current physical activity guidelines. Health care providers, especially nurses, play a vital role in physical activity promotion. Over the past several decades, exercise and physical activity guidelines have evolved from a focus on structured, vigorous exercise to a focus on moderate-intensity “lifestyle” physical activity. The author updates nurses on physical activity guidelines and provides tips for promoting physical activity, with a focus on lifestyle activities such as walking to work. This article also addresses new research findings on the importance of decreasing sedentary and sitting time, even in physically active people


This is the author’s accepted manuscript version of Richards, E.A. (2015). The Evolution of Physical Activity Promotion. American Journal of Nursing, 15(8). 50-54. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.NAJ.0000470400.28683.97.


physical activity, walking, health promotion, sedentary time

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