Voices of the NPAP
Jackie Epping, MPH
Lead Public Health Scientist and Team Leader for the Guidelines and Recommendations Team of the Physical Activity and Health Branch, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What are your roles with the NPAP?
I have been involved in the development of the NPAP since the early conceptual phase and serve as a Federal Advisor to the NPAPA Board of Directors. I also serve and have served on several ad-hoc committees.
What's most exciting to you about the U.S. having a National Physical Activity Plan?
Having a U.S. National Physical Activity Plan is exciting for a number of reasons.
One reason is that this is an indication that, at a country, we are at least beginning to understand the critical importance of having physical activity as part of our daily lives and beginning to appreciate the myriad of benefits of having physically active lives and environments that support physical activity. The NPAP has also provided impetus for several other national, state and local initiatives supportive of physical activity, including the proposed Surgeon General's Call to Action on Walking and Walkability, the EveryBody Walk Collaborative, and state and local physical activity plans.
What will success of the NPAP look like to you in 3 years, 5 years? 10 years?
From my perspective, indicators of success at all of these points in time will include increases in the proportion of decision-makers and of the general population that are aware of the plan and that utilize the plan as a catalyst for action. This should result in increases in the number and type of strategies and tactics in the plan that are implemented. Long-term success of the NPAP, in my view, will be that the vision of the NPAP is realized: all Americans will be physically active and they will live, work, and play in environments that facilitate regular physical activity.