Several weeks ago, the federal government released a set of new exercise guidelines.
The basic prescription was straightforward: Thirty minutes a day, five days a week, at a moderate effort, for basic health.A Washington Post article on the "2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" from the Department of Health and Human Services, offers more specifics on the recommendations, including caveats for senior citizens, pregnant woman, children and other groups.
Those who want more significant health and fitness benefits will have to double that recommendation—to 60 minutes a day, five days a week—or up the intensity of their workouts.
The hope, according to one member of the advisory panel that assembled the new guidelines, is “that [its] policy dimension gives this document some extra significance: Its conclusions may figure into legislative and other debates about funding for school physical education programs, regulations for the operations of senior citizens programs and other public-policy questions.”More details and physical fitness suggestions for the general adult population, along with forms for tracking daily activity, are available from the Department of Health and Human Services.
But the key questions for corporate wellness and HR benefits people are these:
- Do you have exercise programs that support these guidelines?
- Have you communicated them to employees, employers and those who participate in exercise and other programs?
- If no, what are the barriers and how can you overcome them?