Lack of time is one of the most commonly cited barriers to physical activity. The good news is, research shows it is possible for a person to improve their health by incorporating even a small amount of exercise into their daily routine. Health professionals can share these three key facts about physical activity with patients to help encourage them to meet the recommendations in the Physical Activity Guidelines.
How do we create a future healthcare workforce dedicated to improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities across populations? Most fundamentally, we must educate health professions students about the importance of prevention, the social determinants of health, and give them the skills needed to function effectively in interprofessional teams. There is increasing recognition among educators and policymakers that the social determinants of health (SDOH) and prevention-focused strategies are important to address community health issues and achieve health equity. Health equity is defined by Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) as “attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.” This requires addressing social and environmental determinants through both broad and targeted approaches focused on communities experiencing the greatest disparities.
A new report out from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the Y, Making Strides: 2018 State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling, and Active Kids and Communities, analyzes state policy in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia to provide a snapshot of each state’s support for walking, biking, and physical activity. The report cards look at 27 indicators of support across four key areas: Complete Streets and Active Transportation, Safe Routes to School and Active Transportation Funding, Active Neighborhoods and Schools, and State Physical Activity Planning and Support. All of the indicators studied in the report cards have a great impact on a person’s ability to be physically active depending on where they live.

Immunizations (also called shots or vaccines) help prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. Immunization isn’t just for kids. To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia, adults need to get vaccinated, too. National Immunization Awareness Month is a great time to promote vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots.…

Physical literacy has been defined as the ability to move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person. Fran Cleland, Past President of SHAPE America, explains why physical literacy is important, the role of SHAPE America's 5 National Standards, and how Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs can impact the physical activity behaviors of young Americans.
Teen substance use can harm brain development and increase the risk of addiction later in life. Nationally, over 14% of U.S. teens use alcohol or drugs. In Washington State, the 2016 Healthy Youth Survey found that 20% of 10th grade students drink alcohol and 17% use marijuana—and these students report lower grades in school than students who don’t use those substances.
The President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition (PCSFN) recently relaunched the I Can Do It! (ICDI) model to address the needs of more than 56 million children and adults with a disability. ICDI is a customizable, eight-week model that leverages Mentor-Mentee relationships to inspire individuals with a disability to lead a lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and healthy eating behaviors. Health promotion programs using the ICDI model serve Mentees of all abilities, engaging participants in a range of sport, recreation, fitness, and healthy eating activities.

Each month, we release an infographic with the latest data related to a Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicator (LHI) topic. These infographics show progress toward Healthy People 2020 LHI targets — and show where there’s still work to be done.

This month’s featured LHI topic is Substance Abuse. Check out the infographic below, then head over to the Healthy People 2020 LHI Infographic Gallery to see infographics for other LHI topic areas.…