Health Care

Historically, the primary role of public health is to monitor, protect, and promote the public’s health. These functions complement the health care delivery system and community sectors. Chronic disease prevention and management has become an important public health focus in recent years.

Given the integral role of physical activity in maintaining good health and preventing disease, public health agencies, state health departments, public health professionals, public health professional societies, and institutions of higher learning can play major roles in carrying out the following strategies. In the context of the National Physical Activity Plan, the term “public health organization” is defined broadly to include public health agencies and non-government organizations.

STRATEGY 1
Develop and maintain an ethnically and culturally diverse public health workforce of both genders with competence and expertise in physical activity and health.

STRATEGY 2
Create, maintain, and leverage cross-sector partnerships and coalitions that implement effective strategies to promote physical activity. Partnerships should include representatives from public health; health care; education; parks, recreation, fitness, and sports; transportation, urban design, and community planning; business and industry; volunteer and non-profit organizations; faith communities; mass media; and organizations serving historically underserved and understudied populations.

STRATEGY 3
Engage in advocacy and policy development to elevate the priority of physical activity in public health practice, policy, and research.

STRATEGY 4
Disseminate tools and resources important to promoting physical activity, including resources that address the burden of disease due to inactivity, the implementation of evidence-based interventions, and funding opportunities for physical activity initiatives.

STRATEGY 5
Expand monitoring of policy and environmental determinants of physical activity and the levels of physical activity in communities (surveillance), and monitor the implementation of public health approaches to promoting active lifestyles (evaluation).