The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan: Parks, Recreation, Fitness and Sports Sector

In recent years, the time available for leisure-time activity has increased, but this increase has come in small chunks and been spent in sedentary activities. Similarly, the time spent on leisure activities has risen but has been focused on activities that encourage sedentary behaviors.

Providing access, education, and resources that help people incorporate fun and meaningful physical activity into their daily lives can foster real change in the national level of physical activity. The parks, recreation, fitness, and sports sector has considerable capacity to encourage more people to be more active by pursuing the following strategies:

Promote programs and facilities where people work, learn, live, play and worship (i.e., workplace, public, private, and non-profit recreational sites) to provide easy access to safe and affordable physical activity opportunities.

Enhance the existing parks, recreation, fitness, and sports infrastructure to build capacity to disseminate policy and environmental interventions that promote physical activity.

Use existing professional, amateur (Amateur Athletics Union, Olympics), and college (National Collegiate Athletics Association) athletics and sports infrastructures and programs to enhance physical activity opportunities in communities.

Increase funding and resources for parks, recreation, fitness, and sports programs and facilities in areas of high need.

Improve physical activity monitoring and surveillance capacity to gauge program effectiveness in parks, recreation, fitness, and sports settings based on geographic population representation and physical activity levels, not merely numbers served.

Increase social marketing efforts to maximize use of recreations programs and facilities and promote co-benefits with environmental and other related approaches.

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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