The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan establishes priorities and strategies for America to address in improving rates of physical activity. The National Physical Activity Society is an organizational partner of the National Physical Activity Plan and has a board seat on the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance.
We support the strategies of the inter-sectoral plan while paying particular attention to the public health sector, as the development of an expert workforce in public health physical activity is of particular interest to our members.
A quick look at Strategy 1 will illustrate this point. We invite you to get to know the priorities, sectors, strategies, and tactics of the Plan so that we can work together to make a healthier America.
Public health organizations should develop and maintain a workforce with competence and expertise in physical activity and health and that has ethnic, cultural, and gender diversity.
- Promote efforts by CDC, professional societies, and academic institutions to provide training and capacity building in the use, adaptation, and evaluation of evidence-based physical activity promotion strategies.
- Build the capacity of practitioners to monitor key outcome measures of chosen physical activity interventions.
- Enhance academic programs with physical activity practitioner core competencies embedded into the curricula of public health and other disciplines (e.g., healthcare, education, transportation and planning, parks and recreation).
- Increase the number of Master’s of Public Health (MPH) programs that provide training on physical activity and its promotion. Increase the number of graduates from these programs.
- Expand recruitment, outreach, and training efforts to engage students of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; students with disabilities; and students representing groups at particular risk of physical inactivity.
- Encourage professional societies to sponsor scholarship programs for students of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; students with disabilities; and students representing groups at particular risk of physical inactivity.
- Collaborate with a wide range of organizations, including those representing minority ethnic groups and persons with disabilities, to build a diverse public health work force that is well prepared to promote physical activity.
- Support and expand training opportunities (e.g., Physical Activity and Public Health Course) based on core competencies for practitioners, paraprofessionals, community health workers, and professionals from other sectors.
- Develop interdisciplinary training to ensure that physical activity and public health concepts are connected to other disciplines; also include leadership development and team-building.
- Increase the number of professionals who are certified Physical Activity and Public Health Specialists.
- Support the creation of a physical activity and health unit in state health departments that functions as part of an integrated and coordinated approach to chronic disease prevention.
- Staff these units with certified Physical Activity and Public Health Specialists and with professionals from other disciplines with whom public health must collaborate in order to provide opportunities for physical activity within communities.
- Encourage national and state public health associations to form physical activity sections within their organizations.
- Encourage professional societies in public health to adopt and disseminate core competencies for public health practitioners in physical activity, update the core competencies regularly.