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Physical Health in Developing Adolescents

Adolescence is a good time for youth to take more responsibility for their physical health. They can learn to make healthy food choices, be active, and engage in their own healthcare. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd Edition) recommends that adolescents get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Support from family and friends can help increase physical activity among adolescents. Additionally, learning healthy eating habits, like drinking enough water and eating enough fruits and vegetables, is important as adolescents make more choices about their nutrition. 

A healthcare transition is when adolescents move from pediatric care to adult primary care. For medical check-ups, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides an immunization schedule that can help adolescents and parents determine which vaccines may be needed. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that youth enter adult care between the ages of 18 and 21 and that the transition is coordinated with youth, family, and providers. Adolescents who have chronic conditions also can begin to learn how to manage their own health. To support this, parents and caretakers can provide education, skills training, and problem-solving coaching. The following sections provide a detailed look at adolescent physical health and related resources.

Clinical Preventive Services

Learn about the importance of clinical preventive services and how adolescents can be involved in their health care.

Youth with Chronic Conditions & Disabilities

Learn about the health needs of adolescents with chronic conditions and disabilities and how to support them.

Healthcare Transition for Adolescents

Adolescents and young adults who learn to use the healthcare system are setting the stage for better health now and throughout their lives.

Healthy Behaviors

Discover how behaviors like good nutrition and physical activity support health for adolescents into adulthood.


Find out which vaccines adolescents need and why.
Content created by Office of Adolescent Health
Content last reviewed on February 24, 2017