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Health Indicator Report of Physical Activity: Recommended Aerobic Activity Among Adults

Physical activity protects independently against cardiovascular disease. Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Physical activity improves general physical and mental health. Regular physical activity helps to relieve pain from osteoarthritis. Regular physical activity is also known to improve effective disorders such as depression and anxiety, and increase quality of life and independent living among the elderly. Physical inactivity is a leading cause of premature death and also results in greater occurrence of illness.

Recommended Amount of Aerobic Physical Activity by Ethnicity, Utah Adults Aged 18+, 2013


Age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population.

Data Source

Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

The wording for this question changed in 2011. As such, trend data should be interpreted with caution. Prior to 2011, the definition of this indicator was "Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who report light or moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes five or more times per week or who report vigorous physical activity for at least 20 minutes three or more times per week." To reduce bias and more accurately represent population data, the BRFSS has changed survey methodology. In 2010, it began conducting surveys by cellular phone in addition to landline phones. It also adopted "iterative proportional fitting" (raking) as its weighting method. More details about these changes can be found at:


Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who meet aerobic physical activity recommendations of getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate-vigorous intensity activity.


Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who meet aerobic physical activity recommendations of getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate-vigorous intensity activity.


Number of surveyed adults aged 18 years and older.

Healthy People Objective PA-2.1:

Increase the proportion of adults who engage in aerobic physical activity of at least moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes/week, or 75 minutes/week of vigorous intensity, or an equivalent combination
U.S. Target: 47.9 percent

Other Objectives

Utah's 42 Community Health Indicators CSTE Chronic Disease Indicators

How Are We Doing?

The Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) U.S. target for recommended aerobic physical activity is 47.9%. This target has been reached. Using the identical age categories for the U.S. rate as used in HP2020, the U.S. rate for 2013 was 49.5% (49.2-49.8%).

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Compared to the nation, more Utahns are physically active. Our latest data from 2013 show that 55.7% of Utah adults reported getting the recommended amount of aerobic physical activity (age-adjusted). Nationally, the 2013 rate was 49.5%.

What Is Being Done?

Through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the Healthy Living through Environment, Policy, and Improved Clinical Care Program (EPICC) was established from the consolidation of three programs (Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, and the Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Program) and the addition of one (School Health). This consolidation was designed to assist in the coordination of activities to ensure a productive, collaborative, and efficient program focused on health outcomes. The program aims to reduce the incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke by targeting risk factors including reducing obesity, increasing physical activity and nutritious food consumption, and improving diabetes and hypertension control. Housed within the EPICC Program, the Utah Physical Activity and Nutrition Plan (U-PAN) 2010-2020 plan was released April 2010 and addresses the six areas of focus including 1) increase physical activity; 2) increase consumption of fruits and vegetables; 3) decrease the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages; 4) increase breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity; 5) reduce the consumption of high energy dense foods; and 6) decrease television viewing. Implementation of the plan is accomplished through five workgroups: Schools, Childcare, Healthcare, Worksite, and Community. One of EPICC's partners, Utah Partnership for Healthy Weight, a non-profit organization, is focused on bringing informational and financial resources not readily available to state health departments to obesity prevention efforts in Utah. The Partnership works to coordinate the many ongoing and future initiatives within Utah's communities. UDOH staff attend regular meetings of the Partnership and also serve as Partnership board members. Currently, activities are occurring in five main areas: In Schools: (1) The USDA's HealthierUS Challenge helps elementary schools set up policy and environmental supports that make it easier for students and staff to be physically active and eat healthy food. (2) Height and weight trends are being tracked in a sample of elementary students to monitor Utah students. (3) Action for Healthy Kids brings partners together to improve nutrition and physical activity environments in Utah's schools by implementing the school-based state plan strategies, working with local school boards to improve or develop policies for nutritious foods in schools. This includes recommendations for healthy vending options. In Worksites: (1) The Utah Council for Worksite Health Promotion recognizes businesses that offer employee fitness and health promotion programs. (2) The U-PAN worksite workgroup provides toolkits and other resources for employers interested in implementing wellness programs through the website: In the Community: (1) Local health departments (LHDs) receive federal funding to partner with schools, worksites, and other community based organizations to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables through farmers markets and retail stores. LHDs also work with cities within their jurisdictions to create a built environment that encourages physical activity. (2) The EPICC program leads a statewide coalition to implement strategies within the U-PAN state plan. In Healthcare: (1) The Utah Medical Association's Healthy Lifestyles workgroup also serves as the U-PAN Healthcare workgroup. They work to address objectives of the U-PAN State Plan. (2) Several of the U-PAN Healthcare Workgroup objectives involve regularly assessing and counseling for physical activity during patient visits. (3) The EPICC program works with health care systems to establish community clinical linkages to support individuals at risk for or diagnosed with diabetes to engage in lifestyle change programs such as chronic disease self-management. In Childcare: (1) LHDs statewide are implementing the TOP Star program, which aims to improve the nutrition and physical activity environments and achieve best practice in child care centers and homes. (2) EPICC works with state and local partners through the Childcare Obesity Prevention workgroup to implement policy and systems changes in early care and education across agencies statewide.

Evidence-based Practices

The EPICC program promotes evidence based practices collected by the Center TRT. The Center for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT) bridges the gap between research and practice and supports the efforts of public health practitioners working in nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention by: *Reviewing evidence of public health impact and disseminating population-level interventions; *Designing and providing practice-relevant training both in-person and web-based; *Addressing social determinants of health and health equity through training and translation efforts; and, *Providing guidance on evaluating policies and programs aimed at impacting healthy eating and physical activity. Appropriate evidence based interventions can be found at:

Available Services

Visit for more information. Walk to School Day; Safe Routes to School - for more information, call (801) 538-9362 A Healthy Worksite Award Program - for more information, visit

Health Program Information

The Utah Cancer Control Program at the Utah Department of Health is also promoting physical activity by assisting communities develop and implement bicycle and pedestrian master plans.
Page Content Updated On 10/31/2014, Published on 01/23/2015
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Fri, 09 October 2015 14:05:01 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:46:18 MDT