BOSTON (CBS)- For the first time in history, the federal government is issuing guidelines for physical activity for Americans as young as 3 to 5 years old.

With two thirds of adults in the United States overweight or obese, the new guidelines are an effort to fight the epidemic.

The Department of Health and Human Services is calling for children ages 3 to 5 to have 3 hours a day of light-to-moderate exercise a day, saying that kids who have unhealthy body weight even at a very young age are more likely to become obese later in life.

children Federal Government Issues New Guidelines For Physical Activity For Kids Ages 3 5

Children playing outside. Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Health officials say children ages 6 to 17 should get 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day and adults should at least 150 minutes a week.

Even short bursts of exercise count towards the weekly total, like climbing stairs at work or parking your car a little further from the grocery store with a goal of at least 22 minutes of movement a day.

About 80-percent of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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