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Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Nov 1;184(9):633-635. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

Invited Commentary: Little Steps Lead to Huge Steps-It's Time to Make Physical Inactivity Our Number 1 Public Health Enemy.


The analysis plan and article in this issue of the Journal by Evenson et al. (Am J Epidemiol 2016;184(9):621-632) is well-conceived, thoughtfully conducted, and tightly written. The authors utilized the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data set to examine the association between accelerometer-measured physical activity level and mortality and found that meeting the 2013 federal Physical Activity Guidelines resulted in a 35% reduction in risk of mortality. The timing of these findings could not be better, given the ubiquitous nature of personal accelerometer devices. The masses are already equipped to routinely quantify their activity, and now we have the opportunity and responsibility to provide evidenced-based, tailored physical activity goals. We have evidenced-based physical activity guidelines, mass distribution of devices to track activity, and now scientific support indicating that meeting the physical activity goal, as assessed by these devices, has substantial health benefits. All of the pieces are in place to make physical inactivity a national priority, and we now have the opportunity to positively affect the health of millions of Americans.


accelerometers; activity; exercise; mortality

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