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 Key Physical Activity Resources
Recommendations and Guidelines  Press Releases  MMWRs
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Active Environments

graphic of people exercising in a parkInterest in environmental and policy strategies to promote physical activity has grown over the last few years and there is now a growing body of evidence supporting such approaches. Environmental and policy approaches may be especially important as they can benefit all people exposed to the environment rather than focusing on changing physical activity behavior one person at a time. Strategies often include providing access to facilities and programs not currently available and supporting social environments that favor activities. Examples include walking and bicycle trails, funding for public facilities, zoning and land use that facilitates activity in neighborhoods, mall walking programs, and building construction that encourages physical activity. Such approaches hold particular promise for promoting physical activity and should be taken into account in the design of physical activity interventions. The links below provide public health, community design and related sites that complement Active Community Environments (ACES) efforts.

Active Community Environments Initiative
Encourages environmental and policy interventions that will affect increased levels of physical activity and improved public health by promoting walking, bicycling, and the development of accessible recreation facilities.

Designing & Building Healthy Places
Promotes healthy community design. The interaction between people and their environments, natural as well as human-made, continues to emerge as a major issue concerning public health.

Environmental Change Strategies to Promote Physical Activity Quick StartPDF file (PDF-74k)
This resource provides key references, tools, and components for the planning, implementation, evaluation, and maintenance of environmental interventions to promote physical activity.

Promoting Physical Activity Through Trails
There is now scientific evidence that providing access to places for physical activity increases the level of physical activity in a community. Trails offer an opportunity for people to participate in physical activity in a natural setting.

StairWELL to Better Health
CDC study assesses whether making stairwells visually appealing with art and signs motivate employees to use them, shows promising results.

Worksite Walkability Audit Tool
A walkability audit tool is designed to broadly assess pedestrian facilities, destinations, and surroundings along and near a walking route and identify specific improvements that would make the route more attractive and useful to pedestrians. Using CDC's Walkability Audit from this site can help you assess the safety or attractiveness of the walking routes at your worksite.

Related  Resources

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines ToolkitNEW

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit for Organizations and Communities
A comprehensive approach to helping all Americans achieve the health benefits of regular physical activity involves action at all levels of society: individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and public policy.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation offers resources that can assist your community or project promote and change environments to support physical activity.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Promote Public Health and Recreation
Eleven federal programs joined forces, to promote uses and benefits of the nation's public lands and water to promote uses and benefits of the nation's public lands and water resources to enhance the physical and psychological health and well being of the American people.

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* Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

Page last reviewed: October 7, 2008
Page last updated: October 7, 2008
Content Source: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion