According to the Guide to Community Preventive Services, behavior change programs, social supports, community-wide informational campaigns, and environmental and policy approaches, are all recommended for increasing rates of physical activity. This may include educating individuals about the benefits of physical activity and teaching them skills on ways to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines, engaging many sectors to promote messages and support physical activity and creating safe, accessible places for people to be active (sidewalks, parks, bike lanes). Each of these alone is effective, however, implementing several or all would provide additional benefit.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also outlines a number of ways adults can increase their levels of physical activity: individuals can make a commitment to be more active alone, with friends, family members, co-workers; employers can offer opportunities for employees to be more active during the work day; state and local governments may create walk and bike friendly communities; the federal government can implement polices to make physical activity accessible for everyone.
The way land is used in a community (the “built environment”) is important because this can offer the potential to increase activity for all people, not only those who elect to participate in specific programs or activities, which may be affected by socioeconomic factors. Multiple stakeholders play an important role in promoting physical activity in this setting, including those in transportation, town and regional planning, and public safety, whose primary mission is not physical activity promotion.