This introduction to a supplement in the Journal of Public Health Policy (JPHP ) recaps the 2008 Active Living Research Conference. The gathering of more than 300 professionals examined how better environments can encourage people, with a special emphasis on children, to be more active on a daily basis. The conference also looked at how research can be used to influence policy-making.
Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, supports the study of policies and environments that encourage children to be more physically active during their daily routines. The focus is on children most at-risk for obesity, those living in low-income and ethnic/racial communities. Reflecting that "researchers and policy-makers work in parallel universes," the theme of the 2008 conference was "Connecting Active Living Research to Policy Solutions." The articles in this supplement were selected from those submitted to the conference.
- The JPHP supplement includes 13 papers on policy and environmental design, divided into three broad categories: transportation; schools and youth; and built and social environments. The supplement also includes a review of disparities in physical activity among U.S. teens and children; and four commentaries on using research to influence policy.
- The United States is far and away the leader in active living research, although study is under way in other countries. Obesity and physical inactivity are global problems; there is a great need for investigation beyond the United States to take into account country-specific cultural, climatic, and socioeconomic conditions.
- Doing rigorous research relevant to policy considerations and then effectively communicating findings will help research have an impact on policy-making.
Increased physical activity is good for health; and health organizations around the globe recommend creating environments that support physical activity in the course of people's everyday lives. The research papers presented in this supplement are examples of the kinds of rigorous, relevant research that can and should drive and inform policy.
- 1. Translating Research into Public Policy
- 2. Can We Achieve Evidence-Based Policy and Practice on Active Travel?
- 3. Where Different Worlds Collide
- 4. Factors Associated with Federal Transportation Funding for Local Pedestrian and Bicycle Programming and Facilities
- 5. Transit and Health: Mode of Transport, Employer-Sponsored Public Transit Pass Programs, and Physical Activity
- 6. Effect of Innovative Building Design on Physical Activity
- 7. Arkansas Act 1220 of 2003 to Reduce Childhood Obesity
- 8. Early Impact of the Federally Mandated Local Wellness Policy on Physical Activity in Rural, Low-Income Elementary Schools in Colorado
- 9. Preventing Childhood Obesity through State Policy
- 10. Correlates of Walking to School and Implications for Public Policies
- 11. Sociodemographic, Family, and Environmental Factors Associated with Active Commuting to School Among US Adolescents
- 12. Implementation of Texas Senate Bill 19 to Increase Physical Activity in Elementary Schools
- 13. Disparities in Urban Neighborhood Conditions
- 14. Disparities in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors Among US Children and Adolescents
While the need to address disparities in care is well known, few strategies for reducing disparities have been studied systematically.
RWJF examines the types of competitive foods - foods and beverages schools offer outside of meal programs - available in our nation's school...
"The light at the end of the tunnel is ... that I carried the struggle further, and that I taught my children correctly, in the way they cho...
In 1990, Dr. Hotz's focus on collaboration led to the creation of another nonprofit organization designed to coordinate public and private h...
To Dr. Cheryl Holder, success lies in "…understanding the needs of my community and how to make solutions happen."
"I remember Ronald's smile and upbeat attitude about everything. No matter how despairing and hopeless I felt (I was clinically depressed) h...
To Dr. Arlene Goldsmith, anyone can become a leader, provided they are driven, have a personality that is open and engaging, and a passionat...
Whatever I learn from those experiences, I pass on to the people around me, so they don't have to go through what I went through in order to...
Since winning the award, Dr. Bonds has expanded her health-related educational programs, particularly through the increased use of technolog...
"Being a volunteer tests you, to see if you really can make a difference and if you really want to do it - because you do have to make sacri...
"Mr. Chatman will always be in my heart and mind. He taught me to love myself and others. He gave me a chance when no one else would."
The way Mr. Lynch looks at it, anyone can be a leader - with mentoring, training, and the right opportunity (the chance to make a living doi...