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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

Physical Activity and Children and Adolescents

Professional Resource Guide



This professional resource guide about physical activity and children and adolescents has been compiled by NCEMCH. It offers a selection of current, high-quality resources that analyze data, describe public health campaigns and other promotion programs, and report on research aimed at identifying promising strategies for improving physical activity levels within families, schools and after-school programs, child care and early childhood education settings, and communities. The professional resource guide also provides resources about physical activity for children and adolescents with special health care needs. The professional resource guide is aimed at health professionals, policymakers, child care providers, and community advocates. Separate briefs present resources for schools and families.


See Physical Activity and the Health of Young People, rev. ed. (2015) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This fact sheet highlights the benefits of regular physical activity and the long-term consequences of sedentary behavior for children and adolescents. It also presents participation rates in physical activity and in physical education classes for children and adolescents.


Resources for Professionals


Reports, Guides, and Other Resources

Data and Statistics

Literature and Research Databases Programs Databases

Electronic Newsletters and Online Discussion Groups

Resources for Families

Resources for Schools

Resources for Child Care and Early Education Programs

Resources on Specific Aspects of Physical Activity

Community Design

Special Health Care Needs

Related MCH Digital Library Resources

Physical Activity and Children and Adolescents: Professional Resource Guide, 5th ed. (March 2010). (Updated: December 2016, March 2020).

Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., NCEMCH; Breanne C. Wilhite, B.S.
Reviewers: Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., NCEMCH.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.