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Policymakers, Experts, Public Agree: Physical Activity Plan Needed
Date:7/1/2009

ity: business and industry, the nonprofit sector, health care, transportation, education, mass media, parks and recreation, and public health.

The American College of Sports Medicine originally called for the development of the plan following a 2006 policy conference. Russell Pate, Ph.D., FACSM, is the scientific lead for the national plan and also served on the advisory committee for the first-ever federal physical activity guidelines. Pate believes the plan will spur necessary change for Americans.

"A comprehensive National Physical Activity Plan will build on the momentum created by release of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans," he said. "This Plan will be aimed at launching a social movement that shifts the American lifestyle to one characterized by high levels of health-promoting physical activity."

The public agrees. A national omnibus survey commissioned by ACSM found that:

  • 94 percent of Americans feel a national physical activity plan is important in helping citizens avoid chronic conditions and diseases. This was especially true in younger generations - nearly 10 percent more citizens age 49 or younger thought a plan was "extremely important," possibly signaling their heightened knowledge about the importance of disease prevention in the aging process.
  • 97 percent of Americans think changes in the health care system that support disease prevention through physical activity are important. Minorities especially endorsed these changes, with 83 percent of African-Americans recognizing them as "extremely important."

The survey represented a national sample of 1,000 Americans age 18 and over from various geographic regions and demographics. Kelton Research, a leading national public opinion and market research firm, conducted th
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SOURCE American College of Sports Medicine
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