Initial mass media coverage of the 2nd edition of the physical activity guidelines for Americans

Jay E. Maddock, Debra Kellstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The 2nd edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans was released in November of 2018. This document contained specific guidelines for young children, children and adolescents, adults, older adults, pregnant and postpartum women, and adults living with chronic conditions and disabilities as well as safety recommendations. Given the complexity of the recommendations, the aim of this study was to assess which of the guidelines were covered by both print and broadcast media in the three months following the release of the guidelines. LexisNexis was searched for print media as well as transcripts of broadcast media. YouTube was used to search for broadcast television news stories. All retrieved stories (n = 34) were coded independently by two raters on which of the elements of the guidelines were covered. On average, stories covered less than half of the guidelines. Most stories reported aerobic guidelines for adults, children and adolescents and young children. Muscle strengthening and vigorous exercise were covered less frequently. No stories mentioned guidelines for pregnant or postpartum women or adults with disabilities. Print (M = 6.4, sd = 2.7) covered more recommendations than broadcast media (M = 4.0, sd = 1.9, p <.01). Coordinated national efforts are needed to ensure that Americans are aware of the new and complete guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101157
Pages (from-to)101157
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Older adults
  • Physical activity, United States, guidelines
  • Youth: disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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