Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions Workshop Recap


Written by ODPHP

Over two days in April, more than 300 researchers, public health practitioners, and the public gathered in downtown DC and via webcast to learn about the latest initiatives using physical activity to address obesity. The workshop, Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions, is the third part of a series of workshops hosted by the Institute Of Medicine (IOM) Round Table on Obesity Solutions exploring how different sectors can influence the health and weight status of Americans. Previous workshops are summarized in two publications: The Current State of Obesity in the United States and Cross-Sector Responses to Obesity.

Dr. Russell Pate, Workshop Planning Committee Chair and Roundtable Vice-Chair, delivers remarks on the importance of physical activity in solving the obesity crisis in the United States.

The 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, and highlighted innovative strategies for promoting physical activity across segments of the population.

Day one of the workshop focused on the state of the science. Researchers from across the country presented the latest evidence on how physical activity influences body weight among different demographic groups—youth, older adults, and populations who were overweight or obese. Additionally, a group of experts created a series of perspective papers highlighting disparities and inequities in physical activity in six diverse populations. You can find these papers here (right side menu bar).

Day two showcased innovative strategies for promoting physical activity. Presentations from different points of view—policy, community-based programs, and institutions—highlighted the exciting progress moving us forward. A panel featuring three community-based programs illustrated best practices in implementing physical activity promotion to conclude the workshop. Check out videos and slides of all the workshop presentations here.

True to the focus of the workshop, attendees were encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and active wear. The program included walking maps for getting some steps in during the breaks, and the sessions themselves were separated by guided physical activity breaks. Participants learned some desk exercises, got to know each other, and practiced some easy and energizing physical activities.

Take a page from this workshop’s book and incorporate physical activity into your next meeting! 

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, which is the perfect time to implement some of these ideas. Tell us how you plan to “walk the walk.”