Physical Activity: Strategies and Resources
Providing and promoting places for people to be physically active may increase public use of these facilities as well as help boost peoples' physical activity levels. This can include creating and improving walking trails, building exercise facilities, and providing access to existing facilities.
Create or enhance access to places for physical activity with focus on walking combined with informational outreach.
Initiatives to provide access to places for physical activity may increase public use of these facilities and physical activity levels. Initiatives may include informational outreach such as directed promotion to target audiences.
- Steps to Wellness: A Guide to Implementing the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in the Workplace
This toolkit provides employers with easy and understandable steps on how to create or encourage more physical activity among employees in a workplace.
Design street and communities for physical activity
Designing streets and communities for physical activity involves the efforts of planners, architects, engineers, developers, and public health professionals to change the physical environment of small geographic and urban areas in ways that support physical activity, such as through land use policies and urban design.
- Indiana’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Program Supports Local Physical Activity [PDF-537KB]
- Arkansas Revises State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan to Become More Bike-Friendly [PDF-505KB]
- Colorado Communities Create Safe Physical Environments for People to Be Active [PDF-543KB]
- Complete Streets Help Kansas Communities Build Safe Spaces for Physical Activity [PDF-536KB]
- Montana Cities and Counties Working to Build Health into Community Design [PDF-419KB]
- Utah Communities Adopt Plans to Improve Spaces for Residents to Be More Active [PDF-440KB]
- Communities Across Washington State Commit to Safe, Active Streets for All [PDF-536KB]
- Urban Design and Transportation Policies and Practices [PDF-244KB]
These types of polices and practices can encourage active transportation by supporting walking, bicycling, and public transportation.
Evaluability assessments are used to better understand innovative policies and initiatives being implemented in states and communities. The following "spotlights" on Active Transportation initiatives summarize program functions and accomplishments, and provide considerations for those wanting to implement similar initiatives.
- Boston Bike to Market Program [PDF-184KB]
- Building Healthy Communities in Washtenaw County, Michigan [PDF-188KB]
- Increasing Physical Activity Through Joint-Use Agreements Spotlight: Arkansas [PDF-292KB]
- Increasing Physical Activity Through Joint-Use Agreements Spotlight: Virginia [PDF-305KB]
- Missouri Livable Streets Project [PDF-192KB]
- Kids in Parks [PDF-500KB]
By turning existing, outdoor trails into kid-friendly hiking trails, the Kids in Parks program increases access to, and the number of, places for physical activity.
- Nashville MPO Active Transportation Funding Policy [PDF-500KB]
The Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's Active Transportation Funding Policy was implemented to change the built environment to make active transportation easier and safer to use.
- Trailnet's Healthy, Active, & Vibrant Communities Initiative (HAVC) [PDF-500KB]
This initiative is a model that uses community engagement and community development principles to empower communities to support and promote active lifestyles and healthy eating.
- Arkansas Healthy Employee Lifestyle Program [PDF-200KB]
This program works to increase healthy behaviors among Arkansas state employees, including engaging in regular physical activity and eating fruits and vegetables.
Implement Physical Activity in Early Care and Education (ECE)
ECE providers have significant opportunities to establish healthy activity habits in children. This is important because habits formed early in life can track into adulthood. Despite significant variation across states in how the ECE system is organized and operated, there is a common 'Spectrum of Opportunities' [PDF 500KB] by which most states can support the adoption of physical activity standards within the ECE setting as part of a comprehensive obesity prevention approach.
Implement ECE standards for physical activity
Ensure that ECE facilities and/or ECE jurisdictions serving 0 – 5 year olds, including preschools, child care centers, day care homes (also known as family child care), and Head Start and pre-kindergarten programs, meet national standards for physical activity.
- Hawai’i Gathers Information About Early Child Care by Using a Carbon-Copy Survey [PDF-109KB]
- Michigan Early Child Care: Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards [PDF-636KB]
- New Mexico Early Care and Education Centers Create Lasting Wellness Changes [PDF-638KB]
- North Dakota Department of Health Makes Healthy Living Easier for Young Children [PDF-460KB]
- Ohio Health Department Makes Healthy Food Choices Easier for Ohio Children [PDF-410KB]
Alaska Child Care Workgroup Addresses Childhood Obesity [PDF-126KB]
This story details how the Alaska Child Care Workgroup identifies technical assistance and training needs to help child care centers in the state align with recommended nutrition and physical activity policies for preventing childhood obesity.
ECE Highlights [PDF-283KB]
These highlights focus on state health departments' coordinated efforts to implement strategies that help support early care and education facilities in meeting national obesity prevention standards.
- NAP SACC Module (Username and password required)
This training is designed for those interested in adopting the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment in Child Care (NAP SACC) intervention in their state or community. The training provides step by step instructions on implementing NAP SACC. This training and the accompanying materials will allow users to fully implement the NAP SACC program.
- Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings [PDF-200KB]
This multi-component intervention focuses on improving the nutrition and physical activity behaviors of pre-school age children and their parents/caregivers by using educational strategies and skill building activities to promote healthy behavior change.
- Policy Regulations for Day Care in New York City [PDF-200KB]
These policy regulations were implemented to improve the physical activity and nutrition practices in NYC group day care facilities. They include specific guidelines for outdoor play and physical activity, limits on television viewing, and requirements for food and food areas.
- Color Me Healthy [PDF-200KB]
This intervention was designed to increase physical activity and improve fruit and vegetable intake among 4 and 5 year old children in child care and preschool settings. It focuses on increased opportunities for physical activity and exposure to nutrition education.
General Physical Activity Resources
- Bike Share Program Offers California State Employees Another Way to Be Active [PDF-505KB]
- South Dakota’s Workplace Wellness Program Gets Employees Moving at Work [PDF-468KB]
Current Practices in Worksite Wellness Initiatives [PDF-2.88MB]
This document highlights efforts by six state health departments to create healthier community environments through worksite wellness.
- Worksite Physical Activity Highlights in Kentucky [PDF-724KB]
These highlights examine the successful implementation of a worksite physical activity program in the Kentucky Department of Education and Department of Health.
- Worksite Physical Activity Highlights in Mississippi [PDF-273KB]
These highlights explore evidence-based strategies to bring worksite physical activity to more people in Mississippi agencies.
- Worksite Physical Activity Highlights in Utah [PDF-2.55KB]
These highlights explore early evidence for successful practices in an area in Utah where practitioners are currently searching for understandable, common language advice in how to help staff members manage health at work.
- Physical Activity Highlights [PDF-563KB]
These highlights focus on state health departments' coordinated efforts to implement strategies that encourage increased physical activity.
- Additional Physical Activity Highlights [PDF-2.32MB]
These highlights show how states work with partners to design active communities and share resources to support physical activity.
Links to non-federal government organizations found in this document are provided solely as a service to the reader. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the federal government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization sites listed on this website.
- Page last reviewed: November 21, 2016
- Page last updated: November 21, 2016
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