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  • Author: David M. Buchner x
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Promoting Active Visits to Parks: Models and Strategies for Transdisciplinary Collaboration

David M. Buchner and Paul H. Gobster

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the shared interest of the public health and parks and recreation sectors in promoting active visits to parks. At the institutional level, both sectors have missions to promote physical activity and view parks as key components in attaining physical activity goals. While some balancing among park goals may be necessary to avoid overuse and resource degradation, active visits more often complement park sustainability goals by reducing automobile and other motorized use impacts. The public health and parks and recreation sectors have each developed ecologic models to understand the determinants and outcomes of park-related physical activity. Transdisciplinary integration of these modeling efforts can lead to a better understanding of how active visits fit within the context of the overall recreational experience and the full range of benefits that parks provide. We conclude by identifying strategies for improving collaboration between the public health and parks and recreation sectors.

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Development of a National Physical Activity Plan for the United States

Daniel B. Bornstein, Russell R. Pate, and David M. Buchner

Background:

Efforts to increase population levels of physical activity are increasingly taking the form of strategic plans at national, state/regional, and local levels. The processes employed for developing such plans have not been described previously. The purpose of this article is to chronicle the processes employed in and lessons learned from developing the US National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP).

Methods:

The Coordinating Committee oversaw development of the NPAP. Key steps in the process included creating a private–public coalition based in the private sector, organizing the NPAP around 8 societal sectors, reviewing the evidence base for promotion of physical activity in each sector, conducting a national conference to initiate development of the NPAP’s core content, ensuring broad participation in developing and refining the NPAP, and launching the NPAP through a press event that attracted national attention.

Results and Conclusion:

The 3-year effort to develop the NPAP was guided by a private–public collaborative partnership involving private sector organizations and government agencies. Launched in May 2010, the NPAP included more than 250 evidence-based recommendations for changes to policy and practice at the national, state, and local levels across 8 societal sectors.

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Cross-Sectional Relationship Between Physical Activity and Falls in Older Adults, United States 2003

Susan A. Carlson, Judy Kruger, Harold W. Kohl III, and David M. Buchner

Background:

Falls are a major health problem for older adults. The purpose of this study is to examine the cross-sectional association between non-occupational physical activity and falls and fall-related injuries in US adults age 65 y or older.

Methods:

Respondents age 65 y or older were selected from the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (n = 47,619).

Results:

The age-adjusted incidence of falls was significantly higher among inactive respondents (16.3%, 95% CI: 15.2–17.6) than insufficiently active (12.3%, 95% CI: 11.4–13.2) or active (12.6%, 95% CI: 11.6–13.7) respondents. After controlling for sex, age, education, and body-mass index, active and insufficiently active respondents were significantly less likely to have fallen and were significantly less likely to have had a fall-related injury than their inactive peers.

Conclusion:

These results show that active and insufficiently active older adults experience a lower incidence of falls than their inactive peers.

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Priorities and Indicators for Economic Evaluation of Built Environment Interventions to Promote Physical Activity

Angie L. Cradock, David Buchner, Hatidza Zaganjor, John V. Thomas, James F. Sallis, Kenneth Rose, Leslie Meehan, Megan Lawson, René Lavinghouze, Mark Fenton, Heather M. Devlin, Susan A. Carlson, Torsha Bhattacharya, and Janet E. Fulton

Background: Built environment approaches to promoting physical activity can provide economic value to communities. How best to assess this value is uncertain. This study engaged experts to identify a set of key economic indicators useful for evaluation, research, and public health practice. Methods: Using a modified Delphi process, a multidisciplinary group of experts participated in (1) one of 5 discussion groups (n = 21 experts), (2) a 2-day facilitated workshop (n = 19 experts), and/or (3) online surveys (n = 16 experts). Results: Experts identified 73 economic indicators, then used a 5-point scale to rate them on 3 properties: measurement quality, feasibility of use by a community, and influence on community decision making. Twenty-four indicators were highly rated (≥3.9 on all properties). The 10 highest-rated “key” indicators were walkability score, residential vacancy rate, housing affordability, property tax revenue, retail sales per square foot, number of small businesses, vehicle miles traveled per capita, employment, air quality, and life expectancy. Conclusion: This study identified key economic indicators that could characterize the economic value of built environment approaches to promoting physical activity. Additional work could demonstrate the validity, feasibility, and usefulness of these key indicators, in particular to inform decisions about community design.