David Marquez to advise on new federal physical activity guidelines

Members of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Committee during its second public meeting Oct. 27-28, 2016

Associate professor of kinesiology David Marquez has been appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee.

Comprised of 17 nationally recognized experts, the committee will examine current research on physical activity and health prior to publishing a second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The committee is supported by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

“The Physical Activity Guidelines give men and women an unbiased set of recommendations they can trust when it comes to achieving or maintaining health through physical activity,” says Marquez. “It’s time to revisit these guidelines and compare them to latest research to ensure they are up-to-date.”

Marquez is particularly interested to see how the new edition may reflect improvements in technology over the last 10 years. As a researcher who has worked for years with the Latino community, he also looks forward to a discussion on guidelines for specific populations — although the goal, he says, is to provide recommendations applicable to all Americans.

According to HHS, the committee will spend two years reviewing research and holding meetings—which will include opportunities for public comment online at health.gov/paguidelines—and then develop evidence-based recommendations. The report will be submitted to the secretary of HHS for final review before publication in late 2018.

“I feel very good about the process that is ahead of us,” said Marquez, who describes the work as a “specific and systematic review” of peer-reviewed studies on the topic. “It is wonderful to be part of an initiative that gives people progressive, easy to understand, practical guidelines for living a healthy life.”