There are approximately 18.9 million veterans in the United States. More than 9 million veterans are enrolled in VA health care. More than 1.7 million veterans received mental health services.
Physical exercise is made available to veterans through various programs across VA as a part of their overall care plan, but none of these programs are designed to specifically facilitate or provide physical exercise as a mental health intervention.
This document summarizes a number of programs through which physical exercise is implemented in the VA but may not be an exhaustive list, as each VA medical center is unique and may have additional programming.
The table below highlights programs included in this report, their approximate reach, and program notes and restrictions. The programs with the greatest reach are not exercising programs per se, but rather treatments with a physical component that are used primarily for treating physical issues.
The programs below that are specifically sports and exercise programs serve a total of about 15,000—just a fraction of the total veteran population receiving VA health care.