Community Strategies

Activity-Friendly Community

Creating or modifying environments to make it easier for people to walk or bike helps increase physical activity and can make our communities better places to live. Communities designed to support physical activity are often called active communities. The Guide to Community Preventive Services recommends strategies to increase physical activity that are related to walkability. Examples include community-scale urban design, street-scale urban design, and improving access to places for physical activity, including providing maps and descriptive information.

Check out the resources below for even more ways to increase physical activity in the community.

Connecting Routes + Destinations

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This package of resources can help state and local health departments, public health professionals, and community organizations as they aim to build more activity-friendly communities. The Guide to Community Preventive Servicesexternal icon recommends combining one or more interventions to improve pedestrian or bicycle transportation systems (activity-friendly routes) with one or more land use and community design interventions (everyday destinations).

Health Equity

NewTools to help communities, programs, and initiatives work to remove barriers to health and achieve health equity.

Additional Resources

Physical Activity in the Community

The Built Environment

Public Transportation and Health

  • Increasing Access to Safer and Healthier Modes of Transportation
    Public transportation systems provide opportunities for increased physical activity in the form of walking or biking on either end of the trip (e.g., from home to bus stop or from train stop to office) and reduced motor vehicle travel. The Health Impact in 5 Years (HI-5) initiative highlights non-clinical, community-wide approaches that have evidence reporting 1) positive health impacts, 2) results within five years, and 3) cost effectiveness and/or cost savings over the lifetime of the population or earlier.

Evidence-based Strategies and Community Examples

External Resources

Zoning for Walkability

Zoning regulations can be used to foster walkable communities. The following resources relate to this strategy.

Complete Streets Policies

Cross-sectional Study of Changes in Physical Activity Behavior During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among US Adults

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Connect with Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity