Regular physical activity (PA) enhances health during childhood and adolescence and is important in setting the stage for participation in PA across the lifespan. Physician-patient interactions during childhood and adolescence provide important opportunities for clinicians to influence physical activity behaviors. This article reviews current physical activity recommendations for youth and the wide range of health benefits provided to youth from engaging in regular physical activity. It also outlines a practical counseling model, the 5As approach, that can guide clinical counseling for PA, and reviews how an increasingly important model of practice organization, the Care Model, can be used to promote PA in children and adolescents. Family, social and environmental influences on child and adolescent physical activity are also addressed.
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