Physical activity across the lifespan supports good health and well-being and is a key health behavior for healthy aging. For National Physical Fitness & Sports Month Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) is sharing the following reports and resources with a focus on evidence-based programs and policies that if enacted or expanded will help all residents be physically active and enjoy optimal health and well-being.
The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, 2018: This report highlights the latest obesity trends, policies, programs, and practices that can reverse the obesity epidemic, and includes key recommendations for specific actions. New studies documenting national obesity rates and trends reinforce what we already know: obesity rates are alarmingly high; sustained, meaningful reductions have not yet been achieved nationally; and racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities persist. Policies and programs like the National Diabetes Prevention Program, community-based programs, safe routes to school, school-based physical education and physical activity, and complete streets policies play a key role in increasing physical activity and reversing the obesity epidemic.
Promoting Health and Cost Control: How States Can Improve Community Health and Well-Being Through Policy Change: This new report considers the important ways life circumstances outside the healthcare sector impact health. It recommends 13 policy actions that data show if enacted by states would improve health and well-being for community residents. Complete street polices are one way to promote physical activity and connectedness. Complete streets are streets that provide safe and comfortable means of transport for all users including walkers, bikers and people driving cars. Moreover, enacting complete streets and other complementary streetscape design policies can not only improve the physical well-being of individuals, but also help avoid costs for public (Medicaid and Medicare) and private payers.
Countering Childhood Obesity in Georgia: Georgia Shape, a statewide multifaceted initiative, seeks to advance the health and well-being of children by utilizing a cross-sectors approach to tackle childhood obesity in the state. Through the development of community-wide interventions, particularly Georgia Shapes’ ‘Power Up for 30’ program, rates of childhood obesity in Georgia have started to decrease. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes school-based programs to increase physical activity, such as ‘Power Up for 30’, as one of fourteen non-clinical community-wide interventions that can lead to cost-effective and cost-saving health outcomes within five years.