News and information from the National Physical Activity Plan 09/2014

Featured 2015 NPAP Congress Speaker:

Mark Fenton

With the 2015 NPAP Congress less than 6 months away, the Congress Planning Committee is excited to announce that Mark Fenton has joined the list of Congress speakers!

Fenton is a national public health, planning, and transportation consultant;  former host of the “America’s Walking” series on PBS television, and an adjunct associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

He’s a vocal advocate for non-motorized transportation, a frequent consultant on community active transportation plans, and recognized authority on public health issues and the need for community, environmental, and public-policy initiatives to encourage more walking, bicycling, and transit use.

When asked to comment about his role with the NPAP and 2015 National Congress, Fenton stated,

“I’m really delighted we’re having this gathering, as it’s a chance to keep the NPAP a living document. For example, there have been rapid developments in our area–transportation, land use, and community design–over the past five years or so, and these need to be reflected in the update to the plan. Complete streets is now actually a fairly common term among transportation engineers, planners and developers are routinely thinking about mixed-use development, and elected officials see walkable downtowns as an economic (if not public health) aspiration. However, they all need help in actually implementing these principles equitably and universally, not just as ‘spot fixes’ where it’s easy.

This is the case in other areas as well – worksite wellness professionals increasingly recognize programs alone aren’t enough, and they need environmental and policy supports of physical activity. School officials get that PE and recess are critical, but alone won’t provide enough physical activity for our youth.

The NPAP needs to focus on the very best policy and systems level approaches, and then provide practical, proven pathways toward their universal applications. I am counting on people NOT just coming to this conference with the best ideas we’ve had so far–I challenge them to bring the very best ideas for the 21st century!”

Please join us in welcoming Mark to the 2015 NPAP Congress agenda! Visit the 2015 NPAP Congress site to view additional speakers.

Webinar: U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity

Nearly five months after the release of the groundbreaking 2014 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, the NPAPA is proud to announce their upcoming webinar summarizing the implications of the Report Card. 

The webinar will feature Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Ph.D., FACSM, chair of the U.S. Report Card Research Advisory Committee and associate executive director at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, and Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., FACSM, chairman of the NPAP Alliance and professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.

The webinar will discuss the implications of the Report Card and will include a question and answer session with Drs. Katzmarzyk and Pate.

Register here!

NPAP Webinar: Implementing Strategies to 

Promote Physical Activity – Part 1

The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA) invites you to participate in a unique series of webinars examining the most effective ways to successfully implement strategies promoting physical activity. This webinar series builds off our previously released Implementing Physical Activity Strategies book released earlier this year from Human Kinetics.

Webinar Details:

This hour-long webinar is the first of three free webinars that will discuss the promotion of physical activity, based upon case studies included in the book Implementing Physical Activity Strategies.  The case studies illustrate high-priority strategies of the NPAP.  After a brief introduction to current activities of National Physical Activity Plan Alliance, the webinar will address the following topics:

  • Mass Media Strategies (by David Buchner, co-editor),
  • Health Care Strategies (by Bob Sallis, section editor), and
  • Public Health Strategies (by Jackie Epping, section editor).

Register today!

And mark your calendar for the upcoming webinars in the series:

Implementing Strategies to Promote Physical Activity – Part 2

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm ET

Sectors: Education; Parks, Recreation, Fitness and Sports; Volunteer and Non-Profit

Presenters: Russ Pate, Elizabeth Walker, Andrew Mowen

Implementing Strategies to Promote Physical Activity – Part 3

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm ET

Sectors: Business and Industry; Transportation, Land Use, and Community Design

Presenters: David Buchner, Nico Pronk; Mark Fenton

About the NPAP book: Implementing Physical Activity Strategies

Through collaborative efforts, the NPAPA and the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity released the Implementing Physical Activity Strategies book. The book is comprised of 42 physical activity programs that are designed to help people adopt more active and healthy lifestyles based on the National Physical Activity Plan. Specifically, the book serves as an excellent resource and highlights innovative and proven physical activity programs across the eight sectors of the Plan.

JOPERD Series: 

‘The Physical Activity Movement Comes to Age’ 

Check out this month’s issue of Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (JOPERD) for a special series of articles examining the growth and development of the physical activity movement over the years.

‘The Physical Activity Movement Comes to Age’ feature includes five articles written by recognized leaders of the physical activity movement. The articles cover the major developments and recent happenings in the physical activity field. Each article can help professionals and scholars move forward with the knowledge, advocacy, and programmatic actions to create supportive physical activity environments for all Americans.

JOPERD ‘The Physical Activity Movement Comes to Age’ Series Articles:

  • The Evolution of the Physical Activity Field
  • The Development and Content of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
  • From Physical Activity Guidelines to a National Activity Plan
  • Promoting Physical Activity: Addressing Barriers and Moving Forward
  • Best Practices and Recommendations for Increasing Physical Activity in Youth

The NPAPA encourages public health and physical activity professionals at all levels to review this series and take action to increase physical activity levels across the United States regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, or any other factors. More importantly, this series aligns well with the NPAP’s call for collaborative approaches across multiple sectors to enhance opportunities and resources to engage in physical activity.

For a unique overview of the NPAP, review the ‘From Physical Activity Guidelines to a National Activity Plan’ article written by NPAPA members Drs. Daniel Bornstein and Russell Pate. The article presents a unique look at the development, current status, and future of the National Physical Activity Plan. Bornstein, lead author, noted that while JOPERD is typically directed at physical educators, he believes that the current series will serve a broad range of researchers and practitioners across the field of physical activity.

International Walk to School Day 2014

In less than a month, children and youth across the world will gather together to celebrate International Walk to School Day 2014. The event, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 8th, will draw thousands of children representing over 5,000 schools – all of whom will walk to school together.

Walk to School Day is a one-day event with the goal of encouraging more families to enjoy the benefits of safely walking and biking to school. The event which began 17 years ago with only one school has grown substantially with registrants from over 40 countries in 2013. Last year, South Carolina had the highest participation rate across the United States with 89 schools participating in Walk to School Day.

“There is no better way to encourage students and their families to engage in a lifetime of healthy activities than giving them the experience of walking and biking to school,” said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. “Walk to School Day is often the first step in motivating children to make safe, healthy choices.”

Promotion of active transportation through events such as Walk to School Day has the ability to promote awareness and ultimately lead to advocacy efforts at local- and national-levels. See the NPAP’s Transportation, Land Use, and Community Design sector for strategies and tactics aimed at increasing active transportation.

And there is still time to register your child’s school – click here for more details.

 New Videos Promote the Prescription of Physical Activity

The promotion of physical activity by heath care providers to prevent and treat physical inactivity and other medical conditions is a key strategy highlighted in the NPAP. Many public health professionals are calling on doctors to assess physical activity as a vital sign in the health care setting and write prescriptions for exercise.

These efforts align with the strategies outlined in NPAP’s Health Care sector.

Three new videos from the ShareWIK Group encourage health care providers to incorporate the promotion of physical activity into their daily practice. To learn more about the Health Care sector’s role in physical activity promotion, click on the video links below:

  • Why Don’t Doctors Prescribe Physical Activity
  • Beating Obesity: Start with the Exercise Vital Sign
  • Exercise Scripts: Teaching Doctors to Prescribe Exercise
Why Don’t Doctors Prescribe Physical Activity?


Using the NPAP to Address Obesity

For decades, we have debated on the causes of the obesity epidemic and proposed countless solutions to address this growing problem. While both diet and activity levels influence obesity status, a growing body of research suggests that inactivity may be the major cause of the obesity epidemic.

A recent study analyzing NHANES data from 1988-2010 revealed that self-reported caloric consumption has remained relatively the same over the last two decades; however, the percentage of American’s reporting participation in leisure time physical activity has declined nearly 40% during the same time frame.

Dr. Uri Ladabaum, the study’s lead author, stated that these results do not imply that food is not to blame. He added that the causes of obesity are complex and that the solution to address this issue will not be simple – it will clearly include both diet and activity levels focused interventions.

One thing is for sure – declining physical activity levels are likely playing a large role in the rising obesity rates. Identifying the solution to this issue may seem simple – increase physical activity levels across all segments of the population. However, this simple solution is not one that can be easily achieved in a short time frame.

The National Physical Activity Plan, a comprehensive strategic plan designed to address low levels of activity among Americans, aims to create a national culture that supports physically active lifestyles. In order to accomplish this goal, the NPAP has proposed a national and multi-pronged effort across eight societal sectors. This approach encourages the development of a wide range of innovative activities designed to significantly increase physical activity in all segments of the American population.

New Tool: HEAT for Walking and Cycling

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe has recently launched the

2014 update of its Health economic assessment tools (HEAT) for walking and cycling.

HEAT is an online tool that can help you conduct an economic assessment of the health benefits of regular walking or cycling by estimating the value of reduced mortality that results from specified amounts of walking or cycling. Keeping HEAT updated with the latest scientific evidence, the main new features and changes include:

  • updated relative risk functions for walking and cycling;
  • new Values of Statistical Life (VSL) with regional averages and country-specific values (based on a methodology developed by the OECD);
  • updated and more detailed mortality rates for European countries;
  • new section of frequently asked questions (FAQ); and
  • several bug fixes.

With the launch of the 2014 update of HEAT, new online training webinars will be announced soon on the HEAT website.

Upcoming Conferences
 2015 National Physical Activity Plan Congress
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center,
 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington D.C.
 February 23 -24, 2015
 Register Today!


ACSM Conference on Integrative Physiology of Exercise
Miami Beach, Florida
September 17-20, 2014
EatPlayGrow! Webinar
September 15, 2014
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET
Sponsor: Let’s Move
14th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Baltimore, MD
January 29-31, 2015


Moving Active Transportation to Higher Ground:
Opportunities for Accelerating the Assessment of Health Impacts
Washington D.C.
April 13-14, 2015
Abstract submission deadline: October 1, 2014


Annual Walkable Urban Places Conference:
Keys to Success for Social Equity and Economic Diversity
Washington D.C.
September 16, 2014
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