Translating the National Physical Activity Guidelines For Decision-Makers and Practitioners in the Workplace Setting


People working out at the gym

Work sites are important partners in promoting physical activity with their employees.   Healthcare costs can be reduced by having physically active employees.  Many organizations recognize that healthcare costs can be reduced by promoting physical activity but lack the tools to do so.  The release of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and related information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site provides an opportunity to promote physical activity together with information about physical activity and the management of chronic diseases. Additionally, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommends worksite programs to improve diet and/or physical activity behaviors based on strong evidence of their effectiveness for reducing weight among employees. We would like to share several CDC resources for the workplace.


Business Case for Physical Activity


A toolkit will be available that will build on the most effective materials and practices for promoting opportunities for physical activity in the work place. At the same time, the toolkit will include information about the new Physical Activity Guidelines as a key part of promoting increased activity. While the toolkit may be shared directly with business groups, this resource will be particularly useful to nutrition and physical activity promotion state and local community programs, as well as other chronic disease state programs. Look for announcements about this new resource on this blog and on the CDC DNPAO listserv later this year.


Lean Works


As a Web-based resource, Lean Works!, offers interactive tools and evidence-based resources to design effective worksite obesity prevention programs. The site includes an obesity cost calculator to estimate how much obesity is costing a company and how much the company could save by using different workplace interventions. The site also includes a step by step approach for organizations to develop such interventions: Why, Plan, Build, Promote, and Assess.


CDC’s Healthier Worksite Initiative (HWI)


The Healthier Worksite Initiative is guided by an advisory committee made up of representatives from many CDC centers and locations. HWI has worked on improving stairs, the cafeteria, and walking trails, implemented fitness discounts, and modified policies for healthier foods at CDC-sponsored meetings and events. This Web site is comprised of lessons learned from these

CDC activities for program design.


There is also a wealth of new policies and steps for implementing similar programs in work sites. For example, one policy section contains specific policies that impact healthy promotion at federal workplaces, including laws, regulations, and rules to promote voluntary and legally binding behavior. The Web site includes many toolkits available from other programs: general workforce health promotion, nutritious eating, physical activity, preventive health screenings, and healthy choices.  There is also guidance on how to use and adapt the toolkits.


Chronic Disease web portal


The CDC Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) will soon have a Web portal providing links to all of the CDC Chronic Disease prevention work site toolkits and resources. Look for this resource later in 2010. 


Does anyone have an example of an effective promotion of the Physical Activity Guidelines by a business or at a worksite? If so, we are interested in hearing about it and might be interested in featuring it in one of the worksite toolkits or Web sites.