Business and Industry

The Business and Industry Sector combines two subdivisions of the economic system into a single sector. The business subdivision refers to organizations that provide goods and services to consumers, governments, and other businesses. The industry sector refers to activities related to manufacturing finished, usable goods and products from raw materials.

The health of the U.S. workforce is a major concern for the U.S. business community. The total annual national healthcare expenditure is approximately $3 trillion, or close to 18% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and a large portion of these costs are borne by employers. Approximately 80% of healthcare costs are associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. NCDs reduce workforce productivity when employees are absent due to illness as well as when they are at work but unable to be as efficient or effective as when they are fully healthy. Healthy people are an asset to successful business endeavors,1 and collaboration between this sector and the health sectors can have significantly positive results. Business benefits from public health programs that reduce costly health risks, and the health of the public benefits when business and industry addresses pressing public health concerns, such as NCDs.

Lack of physical activity is an important underlying health risk for NCD-related costs and is associated with reduced worker performance.2 The potential for business and industry to improve the level of physical activity among workers at the workplace is strong.3 However, the role of business and industry in promoting physical activity should go beyond the workplace itself and reach deep into the family and the community. Business can play an important leadership role in creating, coordinating, supporting, and sustaining public-private partnerships and cross-sectoral strategies that promote physical activity.

The National Physical Activity Plan strategies for the Business and Industry Sector range from those at the individual level to the organizational level and include partnerships with other sectors. They focus on programs, policies, and practices and support the development of surveillance and evaluation activities to monitor physical activity in U.S. workers.


Businesses should provide employees opportunities and incentives to adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle. (BI-1) [View Tactics]

Businesses should engage in cross-sectoral partnerships to promote physical activity within the workplace, and such efforts should extend to local communities and geographic regions. (BI-2) [View Tactics]

Professional and scientific societies should create and widely disseminate a concise, powerful, and compelling business case for investment in physical activity promotion. (BI-3) [View Tactics]

Professional and scientific societies should develop and advocate for policies that promote physical activity in workplace settings. (BI-4) [View Tactics]

Physical activity and public health professionals should support the development and deployment of surveillance systems that monitor physical activity in U.S. workers and physical activity promotion efforts in U.S. workplaces. (BI-5) [View Tactics]