American Lung Association Responds to Release of New Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Statement of American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer Albert Rizzo, M.D., in response to the recently published The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in the journal JAMA.

"Being physically active is essential for health, and also supports and is fueled by healthy lungs. The American Lung Association encourages everyone to be active in their daily lives in support of their lung health. For the more than 33 million Americans living with a chronic lung disease, physical activity may be challenging, but remains essential. With the support and guidance of a healthcare team, chronic lung diseases can be managed, and exercise is crucial to this process. The American Lung Association encourages those with a lung disease to work closely with their healthcare team before engaging in physical activity, and also offers support and guidance for those with a lung disease. 

"Proper management of a lung disease can enable an individual to live a full and healthy life. For some, pulmonary rehabilitation may be recommended, and under the supervision of a healthcare team can help an individual overcome respiratory challenges to become more active in their daily lives. In fact, a comprehensive approach to treating patients with lung disease is the recommendation of participating in pulmonary rehabilitation programs. Increasing the availability and access to these programs is a priority of the American Lung Association.

"The American Lung Association also offers Better Breathers Clubs, welcoming support groups for patients and caregivers affected by chronic lung diseases such as COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer. Learning about chronic lung disease and sharing experiences of how to maintain good activity levels is an important aspect of these clubs.

"According to the 2018 'State of the Air' report, more than four in ten Americans are living with unhealthy air quality. The American Lung Association encourages everyone, and especially those more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution such as children, older adults or those with a lung disease, to check air quality before exercising outdoors, and to avoid exercising near a highway or busy intersection.

"Physical activity supports and is fueled by healthy lungs. The American Lung Association encourages Americans to be aware of the health benefits of physical activity and supports efforts to implement programs, practices and policies to facilitate increased physical activity and to improve the health of the U.S. population." 

Learn more about lung health at or call the toll-free Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA. For media interested in scheduling an interview with a lung health expert, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628. 

For more information, contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

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