186725 Environments for Active Living: Advocating for built environment awareness and change to improve community-level physical activity

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Millicent Fleming-Moran, PhD , Dept. of Epidemiology, Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indianapolis, IN
Sandra Cummings, MSW , Marion County Health Department, Chronic Disease Division, Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indianapolis, IN
Kimberly L. Irwin, MPH , Alliance for Health Promotion, American College of Sports Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Indiana coalitions promoting physical activity are influenced by Active Living (AL) Research findings that activity increases when: integrated into everyday life, transportation and land use options encourage daily active travel, and environments are safe and accessible for all. Health by Design, an Indianapolis regional coalition followed AL strategies in creating collaborative partnerships and regular interdisciplinary exchanges among planners and health advocates, raising public awareness, and reducing policy barriers to active living.

Sixty percent of local adults over 18 are overweight or obese; over 1 in 3 fail to meet minimum level recommend by CDC. HbD translates public health evidence into two major strategies: creating public awareness of the impact of the built environment on physical activity, and advocating for leaders to make research-based policies to improve community walkability, and active transportation options. Our adopted goals include: 1) Increasing walking, biking and public transportation, as more walkable- neighborhood residents are more likely to meet physical activity recommendations. 2) Improving local / regional connectivity, as connected areas reduce commute times, energy waste and pollution. 3) Encouraging land use decisions which promote public health, as residents of areas with good walking infrastructure and mixed land use are 4-5 times more likely to walk for transportation. 4) Reducing reliance on automobiles, as more time in cars increases one's obesity risk. Strategic activities include advocating for sidewalk ordinance revisions. The Coalition's successes and challenges in the first year, and planned collaborations with sister Active Living coalitions around the state are also discussed

Learning Objectives:
1) Understand the connection of the built-environment to community physical activity. 2)Understand Active Living priciples' application to public policy development. 3) Develop effective communication within interdisciplinary coalition members.

Keywords: Public Policy, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am part of the coalitionleadership described in the abstract. I am a researcher in physical activity and chronic disease.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.