News and information from the National Physical Activity Plan 08/2015

Surgeon General and YMCA Team Up 

Last month, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and YMCA President Kevin Washington announced a new joint effort to teach children and older adults a new way to move together. Watch this short video clip to learn more about #NewWay2Move.



NPAP Commentaries on Physical Activity and Health

Last month, the NPAP Alliance introduced its new commentary series, NPAP Commentaries on Physical Activity and Health; a bi-monthly e-publication designed to draw attention to timely and thought-provoking issues in physical activity and public health.  Ultimately, the primary aim of these opinion essays is to generate momentum to advance the field of physical activity and public health.

The first commentary follows below.


Physical Activity News:


Commentary: The ‘Best Buy’ in Public Health

In 1994, Professor Jeremy Morris, speaking at a symposium honoring Dr. Ralph Paffenbarger’s 70th birthday, proclaimed physical activity as the “Best Buy in Public Health.” Today, more than 20 years later, bargain-hunting American consumers who usually buy anything “on sale,” aren’t buying. Was Dr. Morris wrong? Is physical activity not the “best buy” we thought it was? And if it is, why aren’t we buying?  [Read more]


New funding for PE teachers in New York

Last year, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the School Renewal Program

– a strategy to turn around 94 of New York City’s more challenged schools. Among the initiatives prioritized in the program was increasing student’s exposure to physical education.

Last month, the program budget was released. Of the $78.5 billion set aside to implement the School Renewal Program, $6.6 million has been allocated to hire physical education teachers in order for schools to comply with state physical education regulations. [Read more].


New Research:


Combined Physical Activity & Diet Promotion Programs Recommended for Diabetes Prevention and Control

Now published! New recommendations from the Community Preventive Services Task Force support the use of combined physical activity and diet promotion programs in the prevention and control of diabetes.

Four articles about the effectiveness of combined physical activity and diet programs among people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes are available in the recent issue of Annals of Internal Medicine:

  • Combined diet and physical activity promotion programs to prevent type 2 diabetes among persons at increased risk: a systematic review for the Community Preventive Services Task Force
  • Economic evaluation of combined diet and physical activity promotion programs to prevent type 2 diabetes among persons at increased risk: a systematic review for the Community Preventive Services Task Force.
  •  Combined diet and physical activity promotion programs for prevention of diabetes: Community Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement
  • Diabetes prevention at the tipping point: aligning clinical and public health recommendations

A summary of the findings and one-page facts sheet are available on The Community Guide website.


New Report: 

Most Kansas Pupils Get 20 Minutes or Less of Recess


A new report from the Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance found that 63% of Kansas elementary students have 20 minutes or less for daily recess. The project, which was funded by the Kansas Health Foundation, was conducted in fall 2014 and aims to support policy change requiring mandatory recess that emphasizes physical activity for all Kansas students. See results here.


New Resources:


 Tool: Built Environment Assessment Tool

Check out CDC’s new Built Environment Assessment Tool (BE Tool). This new tool was designed to alleviate some of the challenges and drawbacks of working with other more narrowly focused built environment tools. It uses direct observation to collect data measuring core built environment features as well as the quality of each feature – both of which likely influence individual health and behavior.

The core features assessed in the BE Tool include:

  • built environment infrastructure
  • walkability
  • bikeability
  • recreational sites and structures
  • the food environment
Review the BE Tool in more detail here.

 Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions Workshop in Brief

A short brief on the ‘Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions‘ public workshop hosted by the IOM’s Roundtable on Obesity Solutions is now available. This innovative 2-day workshop provided an expert summary of the state of the science regarding the impact of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity.

Download the Workshop in Brief today for highlights and key points made during the presentations and discussion.


Proposed Physical Activity Federal Legislation: 

The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance would like to encourage you to support two important initiatives at the federal level that aim to promote physical activity.

    • Physical Activity Recommendations for American Act (H.R. 1499);
    • Promoting Activity for Americans Act (S. 1793)

If enacted, these bills would call for the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and disseminate physical activity recommendations based on the latest scientific evidence at least every 10 years. Such legislation has the potential to significantly impact the health of Americans by facilitating regular physical activity in the environments where we live, work, and play.

We encourage you and your organizations to ‘Take Action’ and urge your senators and/or representatives to co-sponsor the physical activity recommendations legislation.

Additional legislation related to physical activity include:

    • ESEA Reauthorization: Every Child Achieves Act
    • Bipartisan PHIT Act Would Allow for Physical Activity Using HSA/FSA
    • Transportation Reauthorization
    • National Council of Youth Sports: P.L.A.Y.S. Act
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.


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