Dallas, TX, May 21, 2019- In a report issued on Tuesday, May 21, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) identified the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health, as a key organization to provide leadership in meeting the need for improved physical activity monitoring and research.

The American Heart Association was one of several organizations named as needed to support the action steps outlined under each of the priority strategies. Association President Ivor J. Benjamin, M.D., FAHA issued the following comments.

“Today’s announcement presents an exciting and needed opportunity to gain a more accurate understanding of the nation’s physical activity levels through even more collaborative, comprehensive monitoring and surveillance research.

The National Academies identified four priority areas for learning more about physical activity behaviors: children, healthcare, workplaces and community. Surveillance activities will track the implementation and evaluation of interventions, programs and policies aimed to increase physical activity. The findings will be analyzed and ultimately lead to recommendations to make physical activity easier for families and communities to engage in.

The American Heart Association has long recognized the importance of physical activity in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke and other communicable diseases. There is much work to be done to curb the increase of inactivity among all ages. We’re committed to supporting efforts that make it easier to get more physical activity, regardless of where you live, work, pray and play.

Research shows that at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week are imperative to overall health. Yet worldwide, only about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men get enough physical activity. This is of particular concern to the American Heart Association because low physical activity combined with excessive sedentary behavior can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, negatively impacting blood pressure, cholesterol, blood flow and weight.

With our focus as a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives, the American Heart Association advocates for policies that support physical education in schools and early education; bike and pedestrian infrastructure, including safe routes to school; and complete streets that integrate all modes of transportation, accounting for the needs of all people and places in an equitable way. We support physical activity assessment and prescription in the clinical environment and workplaces. We create programs and opportunities to encourage people of all ages to get moving and provide tools and tips to help them along the way.

The American Heart Association helps people meet the recommended physical activity guidelines through policies, programs and prevention strategies offering everyone a fighting chance against cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.”

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 About American Heart Association:

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Linzy Cotaya: Linzy.Cotaya@heart.org, 504-473-6494

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org