According to a report from Healthy People 2020, a federal program that monitors a long list of health objectives, the US is making steady gains in the number of adults who meet guidelines for physical activity, though obesity rates haven’t changed much for all population groups. The latest findings are included in a progress report on 26 leading health indicators (LHIs) tracked by the group, and the report compares current LHIs against a baseline as well as goals for the campaign.

A news release from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) notes that in the case of adults meeting aerobic physical activity and muscle strengthening guidelines, the federal report shows a 2012 rate of 20.6%, which is up from the 2008 baseline of 18.2% and slightly above the goal of 20.1%. In addition, for adults, obesity rates have increased from a 2005-2008 baseline of 33.9% to 35.3%, well away from the 30.5% goal. Child obesity rates rose from 16.1% to 16.9%, which is away from the program’s goal of 14.5%.

According to the APTA news release, the report describes the latest data as “generally positive,” with 10 of the 26 indicators showing improvement and eight showing little or no change since the baseline year. The indicators being monitored by Healthy People 2020 include access to health services, injury and violence, mental health, physical activity, oral health, reproductive health, preventive services, substance abuse, tobacco use, social determinants, mental and child health, and environmental quality.

To view the federal progress report, visit

Source: APTA