The National Physical Activity Plan has a vision: One day, all Americans will be physically active and they will live, work, and play in environments that facilitate regular physical activity.
The Plan is a comprehensive set of policies, programs, and initiatives that aim to increase physical activity in all segments of the American population. The Plan is the product of a private-public sector collaborative. Hundreds of organizations are working together to change our communities in ways that will enable every American to be sufficiently physically active.
The Plan aims to create a national culture that supports physically active lifestyles. Its ultimate purpose is to improve health, prevent disease and disability, and enhance quality of life.The National Physical Activity Plan is comprised of recommendations that are organized in eight societal sectors:
- Business and Industry
- Health Care
- Mass Media
- Parks, Recreation, Fitness and Sports
- Public Health
- Transportation, Land Use, and Community Design
- Volunteer and Non-Profit
Each sector presents strategies aimed at promoting physical activity. Each strategy also outlines specific tactics that communities, organizations and agencies, and individuals can use to address the strategy. Recognizing that some strategies encompass multiple sectors, the Plan also has several overarching strategies.
The Plan is focused on initiatives that aim to increase physical activity. Reducing sedentary behavior is recognized to be an important public health goal, but is not the Plan's specific objective.
A board of directors comprised of representatives from numerous organizational partners provided overall direction and guidance for the Plan. Working with the board of directors, working groups for each of the eight sectors developed the Plan's strategies and tactics. An open public comment period garnered extensive comments and suggestions that were incorporated into the Plan.
In developing the Plan, the Board of Directors and Working Groups relied on several guiding principles:
- Use evidence to inform the Plan's actions to promote physical activity.
- Include initiatives for all socio-demographic groups.
- Aim actions at local, state, federal, and institutional levels.
- Encourage the involvement of diverse stakeholders to guide the content of the Plan.
- Ground the Plan in the ecological model of health behavior.
- Ensure that the Plan's initiatives reduce health disparities across socio-demographic groups.
- Present the Plan as a "living document" that is updated on a regular basis.
Learn more about how to help implement the Plan here.