NIH: Office of Disease Prevention



Healthy People 2020
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP)

Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For three decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to: encourage collaborations across communities and sectors; empower individuals toward making informed health decisions; and measure the impact of prevention activities. Healthy People 2020 continues in this tradition with an ambitious, yet achievable, 10-year agenda that includes several topics including physical activity, nutrition, and weight status.

This section provides a selection of resources from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as NIH's federal partners, and is not intended to be a comprehensive list.

National Library of Medicine (NLM) is a web-based resource that provides patients and their family members, health care professionals, researchers, and the public with easy access to information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies. Most of the records in describe clinical trials, which are research studies in which human volunteers are assigned to interventions (for example, a medical product, behavior, or procedure) based on a protocol (or plan) and are then evaluated for effects on biomedical or health outcomes. maintains information on a variety of studies related to physical activity.

NIH Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) System

At the request of Congress, the NIH embarked on a process to provide better consistency and transparency in the reporting of its funded research. This process, implemented in 2008 through the Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) system, uses sophisticated text data mining (categorizing and clustering using words and multiword phrases) in conjunction with NIH-wide definitions used to match projects to categories. The RCDC website provides historical and estimated funding data for a variety of research topics including physical activity. To search for funded projects, visit the NIH RePORTER website.

Weight-control Information Network (WIN)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Established in 1994, WIN is an information service that provides the general public, health professionals, and the media with up-to-date, science-based information on obesity, weight control, physical activity, and related nutritional issues. WIN also developed Sisters Together: Move More, Eat Better, a national program to encourage black women to maintain a healthy weight by becoming more physically active and eating healthier foods. WIN publications and resources include fact sheets, brochures, and kits on nutrition, physical activity, and weight control, such as Energize Yourself and Your Family!, Get Moving!, and Getting on Track: Physical Activity and Healthy Eating for Men. For more resources in both English and Spanish, see the WIN publications page.

What I Need to Know About Physical Activity and Diabetes

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

This publication provides information on how to manage diabetes through physical activity and answers key questions like "What kinds of physical activity can help me?" and "Can physical activity cause low blood glucose?" It also discusses the benefits of physical activity on diabetes by reducing the risk for problems with the kidneys, eyes, nerves, teeth, and feet and legs, as well as lowering the risk for heart attack or stroke.

Diabetes Prevention Program and National Diabetes Education Program

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a major clinical trial, or research study, aimed at discovering whether either diet and exercise or the oral diabetes drug metformin could prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in people with impaired glucose tolerance. The DPP study showed that type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed in persons with increased risk by losing a small amount of weight and getting 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity such as brisk walking five days a week. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) used the findings from the DPP study to prepare Small Steps. Big Rewards. Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: Information for Patients to make it as easy as possible to take steps now to prevent diabetes, including guidance on how to Move More.


National Institute on Aging (NIA)

This exercise and physical activity campaign from the NIA is designed to help seniors fit exercise and physical activity into their daily lives. Motivating older adults to become physically active for the first time, return to exercise after a break in their routines, or build more exercise and physical activity into weekly schedules are the essential elements of Go4Life®. The campaign offers sample exercises, motivational tips, nutritional information, virtual coaches, and free resources to help seniors get ready, start exercising, and keep going. Go4Life® includes an evidence-based exercise guide in both English and Spanish, an exercise video, an interactive website, and a national outreach campaign.


National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Library of Medicine (NLM)

The NIHSeniorHealth website offers health and wellness information written especially for older adults, including information about the health benefits of exercise and physical activity, how to get started, how to stay active, and exercises to try. Developed jointly by the NIA and the NLM, NIHSeniorHealth features authoritative, up-to-date health information from the NIH.

Obesity Education Initiative (OEI)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

The OEI is an education program begun in 1991 to help reduce the prevalence of overweight along with the prevalence of physical inactivity. Its purpose is to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and overall morbidity and mortality from coronary heart disease. In addition, reducing the prevalence of overweight will help reduce the prevalence and severity of sleep apnea.

Explore Physical Activity and Your Heart

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

The Physical Activity and Your Heart Health topic includes information on physical activity types, benefits, risks, recommendations, and ways to get started. The NHLBI developed the Health Topics website for patients, caregivers, and the public. Health Topics provides science-based, plain-language information related to heart, lung, and blood diseases and conditions and sleep disorders. The site contains articles on diseases, conditions, tests, procedures, and other relevant topics, which you can email, print, and share.

Physical Activity Intervention Programs from the Research-tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) Database

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

RTIPs is a searchable database of cancer control interventions and program materials and is designed to provide program planners and public health practitioners easy and immediate access to research-tested materials.

The Science of Mind and Body Therapies

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Mind and body practices—such as tai chi, yoga, and meditation—focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior, with the intent to use the mind to affect physical functioning and promote health. This video series features two videos, one on tai chi and qi gong and a second on yoga. For more information on yoga, see this yoga fact sheet.

Exercise for Your Bone Health

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Vital at every age for healthy bones, exercise is important for treating and preventing osteoporosis. Not only does exercise improve your bone health, it also increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance, and it leads to better overall health. This fact sheet provides information on how exercise helps bones, along with bone-building exercise tips.

Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active!®

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active!® is an interactive after-school education program for young people age 11 to 13. It is designed to help teach children in this age group about the complex media world around them and how it can affect their health—especially in the areas of nutrition and physical activity. Media-Smart Youth is not a weight loss program, but rather is a health promotion program. It helps young people become critical, creative thinkers. Media-Smart Youth teaches them to analyze, evaluate, and create media messages—skills that can help them make smart and positive choices about nutrition and physical activity every day.