Implementation of the National Physical Activity Plan



Family walking outside in the snow

A new year…a new me! I can’t even imagine how many Americans have that thought running through their heads when January 1 roles around and it is time to ponder one’s goals for the new year (I am stopping short of calling the thought a resolution)…in fact, the media reported just this week that the 3rd most popular New year’s Resolution (oops..there it is-THAT word!) is to “get fit”.


The landmark Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans have provided a great goal for people to reach for…and the Nation’s first National Physical Activity Plan is a roadmap to help them get there. Dr. Russ Pate’s 11/17/09 blog post provides an excellent introduction to the Plan. The ultimate success of the plan will produce a marked and progressive increase in the percentage of Americans who meet the guidelines throughout life.


The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) is spearheading the implementation of the Plan. The sector approach adopted by the plan will allow us to address a variety of themes such as environmental design (office buildings, communities, worksites, and schools) and integration of physical activity fully into our lives-whether it be while working, learning or playing (think physical activity/education in schools; parks and recreation programs and facilities; worksite physical activity programs, and shared use of schools, corporate campuses, etc.). Successful implementation will also involve systematically working towards environment and policy changes in a variety of sectors, at the local, state and national levels that will integrate physical activity into a variety of areas. Of course, public health and education immediately come to mind but it will be important to also focus on unorthodox areas (in terms of physical activity) of government policy such as transportation, economic recovery, climate change, and community development. Policy changes are not however, limited to government-they can reach into corporate culture as well as how physical activity is treated as part of health care and health insurance.


Implementation of something this large would needless to say be a monumental task for one organization; however by many organizations working together it becomes not only manageable but realistic and tangible as well. NCPPA is looking for key organizations that are willing to commit to providing the leadership of the various strategies and objectives contained within the plan. In many cases, there may be a strategy that your organization has already deemed a priority and in other cases, it may be something new but of interest to your organization. The Plan’s ultimate success lies in the partnership of organizations that is being created to “get down and dirty”…to actually take the Plan and put it into action. 


Plans are well underway for a National Plan initial launch in early May, however the groundwork is beginning now. Is your organization willing to commit to leadership on one or more strategies? If that is not possible, is your organization willing to co-lead or work on a strategy? Would your city, county, etc. like to be involved in a local launch? If you would like more information on getting involved in implementation of the National Plan, please contact us.


“Name that Cause!”  What are your ideas for the name brand or tag line for a shared cause to improve physical activity choices in homes, schools, worksites, and communities?  What would attract organizations and individuals to join a shared cause to improve physical activity choices in homes, schools, worksites, and communities?