News and information from the National Physical Activity Plan 04/2015

Update from the NPAPA

Just over a month ago, public health and physical activity experts came together at the 2015 National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) Congress in Washington, D.C. During the Congress, attendees were engaged in the review and revision of the National Physical Activity Plan.

The Alliance is excited to report that the Sector Expert Panels, one representing each of the eight societal sectors of the Plan, are in the final stages of completing their recommendations for revision to the NPAP. Moving forward with the revision of the Plan, the Alliance has convened two new committees to assist in the final stages of the NPAP revision process.

The NPAPA Diversity Committee, chaired by Dr. NiCole Keith, will examine the NPAP revisions with a special focus on issues related to health disparities and equity across all sectors of the Plan.

The NPAP Revision Executive Committee, chaired by Dr. Russell Pate, will compile the Sector Expert Panel recommendations and review the Plan for overlaps, gaps, and clarity. In addition, the committee will revise the overarching strategies of the NPAP to reflect the updates to the Plan.

After each committee has completed their assigned tasks, the Alliance will solicit a second round of public comment on the near-final draft of the revised NPAP. Based on the feedback received, final revisions to the Plan will be completed and presented to the NPAPA Board of Directors for approval. Release of the revised NPAP is anticipated in late 2015.

Bill Introduced to Increase Physical Activity Training in U.S. Medical Schools

As one of the eight societal sectors of the NPAP, the Alliance acknowledges the role that the Health Care sector can play in improving population level physical activity behavior. Specifically, the Plan identifies several strategies within the Health Care sector with the potential to increase patient physical activity, including physical activity training for health care providers.

While physicians play a vital role in monitoring and promoting patient physical activity behaviors, a new research from Oregon State University suggests that fewer than half of U.S. trained physicians have received formal education or training on the topic. Overall, few medical school curriculums were found to offer any course related to physical activity. Of those that did, the course was rarely required. The full article on the findings has been accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

A new bill, the Expanding Nutrition’s Role in Curricula and Healthcare (ENRICH) Act (H.R. 1411), aims to address the lack of training in physical activity and nutrition in U.S. medical schools. Last month, a revised version of the bill was introduced and included the addition of physical activity training into the bill language. Important things to keep in mind:

  • The integration of nutrition and physical activity education into curricula means offering nutrition and physical activity education throughout medical school, residency programs, and in conjunction with other health education programs.

If enacted, the ENRICH Act would provide grants to “develop or enhance” nutrition andphysical activity curricula in US medical schools. The ENRICH Act serves as a great example of how policy-level efforts can enhance the training of U.S. medical professions in physical activity, as recommended in the NPAP.


Arkansas and Virginia Use Joint-Use Agreements to Increase Physical Activity Opportunities

 Join us in congratulating Virginia and Arkansas for their efforts to increase physical activity opportunities through joint-use agreements (JUAs). JUAs are a great way to increase the physical activity opportunities in a community. The agreement typically involves a group (e.g. school, city, or private organization) allowing the community to share access to its physical activity spaces, including fields, gymnasiums, weight rooms, pools, etc.

Each state has been recognized by the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity as part of their Evaluability Assessment Spotlights. Virginia’s and Arkansas’ JUAs initiatives align well with the strategies and tactics outlined in the NPAP Education sector and serve as prime examples of how communities can increase resident’s physical activity opportunities.


Public Workshop – ‘Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions’

It’s not too late to register for the ‘Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions’ public workshop hosted by the IOM’s Roundtable on Obesity Solutions on April 14-15! This innovative 2-day workshop will focus on the role of physical activity in obesity.

 Specifically, the workshop will include:

  • the science around the impact of physical activity on overweight and obesity   (Day 1);
  •  innovative strategies for promoting physical activity (Day 2)

Individuals can attend the workshop in person at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. or via a live webcast. Speaker presentations and video recording of the workshop will be available online following the event.

For more details or to register, visit the IOM website.


2015 County Health Rankings Released

The 2015 County Health Rankings were released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute in March. This informative project depicts how each state and county in the United States compares on 29 factors that influence health; one of which is physical inactivity.

The NPAPA, along with our organizational partners, have long acknowledged the importance of having an environment supportive of physical activity. The release of the 2015 County Health Rankings allows us to compare health outcomes and behaviors, such as physical inactivity, across US counties and examine how the policies, systems and, environment may influence physical activity and health.

Using surveillance measures such as the Rankings, the NPAPA encourages counties and states to advocate for development of policies and programs that will positively influence engagement in health-enhancing physical activity. Across multiple sectors, the NPAP has identified several key strategies and tactics designed to increase physical activity at the community, state, and federal level.

Check out your county’s ranking here and how the NPAP can help to advocate for improvements to the physical activity environment in your community.

New Report from Complete Streets: 
‘Safer Streets, Stronger Economies’ 
A new report is available from Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition and Kaiser Permanente – ‘Safer Streets, Stronger Economies.’

The report includes data from 37 Complete Street projects from across the country and explores the impact of these projects. Specifically, the report explores the impact of Complete Street projects on transportation goals, community economics, and much more. Download the report and/or watch the achieved March 24th webinar discussing its results.


Department of Veteran Affairs Announces Funding Opportunity

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has issued a Notice of Federal Availability for up to $8 million in grant funds for fiscal year 2015. The VA is accepting grant applications that seek to provide adaptive sport opportunities for disabled Veterans and disabled Armed Forces members.

The Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs (ASG Program) provides funding to organizations interested in increasing and expanding adaptive sport activities for disabled Veterans and Armed Forces members. Such programs have the potential to increase opportunities for disabled Veterans and Armed Forces members to participate in physical activity within their communities and/or in more advanced programs at the regional and national levels.

Additional details regarding the application process are available on the VA Adaptive Sports website. The deadline for application is 26 May 2015.

Oliver Bartzsch is an experienced medical professional with over 15 years of professional experience. With a passion for medicine, fitness, and personal growth, he is always willing to challenge himself to accomplish tasks and especially to provide accurate medical information to people. Oliver is a long-time medical editor for multiple sites. With more than 10 years of medical writing experience, he has completed over 350 projects with both individual and corporate clients.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here