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.
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.
- Local Walking Paths Promote Physical Activity in Yonkers, New York (1422) March 2018 [PDF-546KB]
- Arkansas Town Makes Strides to Create Safe Streets for Walking and Cycling (1416) March 2018 [PDF-408KB]
- Fall River Residents Enjoy Walking on New River Rail Trail Cdc-pdf[PDF-484KB]
- Indiana’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Program Supports Local Physical Activity Cdc-pdf[PDF-537KB]
- Arkansas Revises State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan to Become More Bike-Friendly Cdc-pdf[PDF-505KB]
- Colorado Communities Create Safe Physical Environments for People to Be Active Cdc-pdf[PDF-543KB]
- Complete Streets Help Kansas Communities Build Safe Spaces for Physical Activity Cdc-pdf[PDF-536KB]
- Montana Cities and Counties Working to Build Health into Community Design Cdc-pdf[PDF-419KB]
- Utah Communities Adopt Plans to Improve Spaces for Residents to Be More Active Cdc-pdf[PDF-440KB]
- Communities Across Washington State Commit to Safe, Active Streets for All Cdc-pdf[PDF-536KB]
- Urban Design and Transportation Policies and Practices Cdc-pdf[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 Cdc-pdf[PDF-184KB]
- Building Healthy Communities in Washtenaw County, Michigan Cdc-pdf[PDF-188KB]
- Increasing Physical Activity Through Joint-Use Agreements Spotlight: Arkansas Cdc-pdf[PDF-292KB]
- Increasing Physical Activity Through Joint-Use Agreements Spotlight: Virginia Cdc-pdf[PDF-305KB]
- Missouri Livable Streets Project Cdc-pdf[PDF-192KB]
- Kids in Parks [PDF-500KB]External
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]External
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]External
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]External
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’ Cdc-pdf[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.
- Study Examines the Arizona Empower Program and Obesity Prevention Best Practices in Child Care Facilities Cdc-pdf[PDF-2.55MB]
This fact sheet summarizes the findings of the Arizona Empower Program to promote the adoption of healthy practices in child care facilities. CDC grantees and public health practitioners can use this document when planning approaches to support obesity prevention best practices in ECE facilities.
- Hawai’i Gathers Information About Early Child Care by Using a Carbon-Copy Survey Cdc-pdf[PDF-109KB]
- Michigan Early Child Care: Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards Cdc-pdf[PDF-636KB]
- New Mexico Early Care and Education Centers Create Lasting Wellness Changes Cdc-pdf[PDF-638KB]
- North Dakota Department of Health Makes Healthy Living Easier for Young Children Cdc-pdf[PDF-460KB]
- Ohio Health Department Makes Healthy Food Choices Easier for Ohio Children Cdc-pdf[PDF-410KB]
- Alaska Child Care Workgroup Addresses Childhood Obesity Cdc-pdf[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 Cdc-pdf[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 ModuleExternal (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]External
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]External
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]External
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
- Indiana Study Examines the Effects of Using a Community Workshop Model to Support Active Living Goals Cdc-pdf[PDF-5.29MB]
This fact sheet summarizes the effectiveness of a community workshop model used by Indiana State Department of Health to support active living goals. CDC grantees and public health practitioners can use this document when planning approaches to support active living design in communities.
- Louisiana Creates a Wellness Culture in Worksites Cdc-pdf[PDF-357KB]
- South Carolina Takes Action to Reduce High Obesity Rates Cdc-pdf[PDF-431KB]
- Bike Share Program Offers California State Employees Another Way to Be Active Cdc-pdf[PDF-505KB]
- South Dakota’s Workplace Wellness Program Gets Employees Moving at Work Cdc-pdf[PDF-468KB]
- Current Practices in Worksite Wellness Initiatives Cdc-pdf[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 Cdc-pdf[PDF-724KB]External
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 Cdc-pdf[PDF-273KB]External
These highlights explore evidence-based strategies to bring worksite physical activity to more people in Mississippi agencies.
- Worksite Physical Activity Highlights in Utah Cdc-pdf[PDF-2.55KB]External
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 Cdc-pdf[PDF-563KB]
These highlights focus on state health departments’ coordinated efforts to implement strategies that encourage increased physical activity.
- Additional Physical Activity Highlights Cdc-pdf[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.