Strategies for increasing physical activity in communities
New book explains how – and why it’s important
A new book from the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) APHA Press, "Physical Activity & Public Health: A Practitioner’s Guide,"explores how community organizers and public health workers can build successful programs that promote and sustain physical activity.
The handbook discusses health benefits of regular exercise and infrastructure barriers to physical activity and highlights community programs with a track record of success. One important aspect is forming community partnerships, according to Gregory Heath, DHSc, MPH, the book’s editor.
“We talk (in the book) about how to get people to the table and create sustainable coalitions,” says Heath, DHSc, MPH, who is assistant provost of health and human performance at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Contributors to “Physical Activity & Public Health: A Practitioner’s Guide,” recommend that community organizers prioritize funding for bike lanes and walkways as well as equitable investments in parks and open spaces. They also support joint or shared-use agreements between local governments, school districts and faith-based organizations.
There are a variety of strategies to get a community moving, Heath notes.
“We tried to emphasize in the book that there is no one size fits all,” Heath said.
Physical Activity & Public Health: A Practitioner’s Guide ISBN: 78-087553-3094, 400 pages. List price: $65, plus handling, APHA member price: $45.50.
APHA champions the health of all people and all communities and strengthens the public health profession. www.apha.org.