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U.S. Begins Work on First National Physical Activity Plan

By Daniel Bornstein, United States

Howard Koh addresses the delegation.
Howard Koh addresses the delegation.

On July 1 and 2, 2009, more than 250 delegates gathered in the nation’s capital to commence drafting and implementation of the first Physical Activity Plan for the United States. Keynote addresses from former Surgeon General David Satcher and newly appointed Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services Howard Koh established the importance of the National Physical Activity Plan as an integral part of "health system reform."

Additional addresses from a panel of international experts on physical activity plans from around the world, plus leading national experts across eight societal sectors, offered evidence-based policy and practice recommendations for increasing population levels of physical activity in the United States.

Representatives from health care, private industry, government, education, public health, environment, media, and fitness and sport then established the foundation for the Plan by selecting the best, evidence-informed policy and practice recommendations from each of the eight societal sectors and identified implementation strategies for each policy and practice recommendation.

Drafts of the Plan will be widely circulated for comment before the final version is drafted and ultimately released in 2010. For more information about the National Physical Activity Plan, go to For more information about the Physical Activity Guidelines, go to

Daniel Bornstein is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, at the University of South Carolina.


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The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is the first comprehensive, science-based set of guidelines developed to inform individuals about the necessity of physical activity.


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