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Active WV: A Systematic Approach to Developing a Physical Activity Plan for West Virginia

Eloise Elliott, Emily Jones, and Sean Bulger

Background:

Modeled after the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP), ActiveWV 2015: The West Virginia Physical Activity Plan was developed to provide strategic direction for physical activity promotion within the state. The purpose of this manuscript is to describe the systematic approach taken in developing ActiveWV.

Method:

Plan development began with establishing capacity and leadership among key stakeholders representing all societal sectors. A multiphase, statewide decision-making process allowed for input across sectors and geographic regions. The process results identified five priority areas that served as the conceptual framework for ActiveWV. Sector teams, comprised of key organization stakeholders across the eight sectors, finalized the sector-specific strategies and tactics using the NPAP evidence-based recommendations, results from a formalized strategic process, and the teams’ expertise and experience.

Results:

ActiveWV was officially released on January 19, 2012 at the State Capitol in Charleston, West Virginia. Community events throughout the state surrounded the release and celebrated West Virginia Physical Activity Day. Ongoing implementation and dissemination efforts are underway at state and local levels.

Conclusions:

As the NPAP calls for states and communities to develop plans that meet the needs of their particular context, other states may find the lessons learned from West Virginia helpful in the development process.

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An Assessment of State-Level Planning for Physical Activity Promotion in the United States

Harold W. Kohl III, Ashleigh M. Johnson, Erin E. Dooley, Brooke Towner, Russell R. Pate, Kurt Heischmidt, and Eloise M. Elliott

The prevalence and attributable risk of disease due to physical inactivity require it to be made a public health priority. Public health planning allows for prioritization and resource allocation, particularly at the state and local levels. The extent to which state planning efforts for physical activity exist in the United States is unknown. The purpose of this paper is to describe the scope in which physical activity is incorporated in state-level public health plans in the United States, with an emphasis on alignment with the national guidelines and the National Physical Activity Plan. A standardized internet search audit was developed and conducted for each of 50 US states and the District of Columbia between May 2017 and January 2018 to determine the prevalence and characteristics of health planning documents that include physical activity. Data abstracted for analysis used a standardized search protocol that included the components of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and the US National Physical Activity Plan. Results found that most states had between 4 and 6 chronic disease prevention and control plans that mention physical activity; however, it was inconsistently aligned with recommendations from both the Guidelines and the National Plan. Only 2 states had stand-alone public health planning documents explicitly dedicated to physical activity promotion. No state planning documents addressed children and adolescents, adults, and older adults simultaneously. To be maximally effective, state public health planning for physical activity should be made a priority and these efforts should align as much as possible with current guidance from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and the US National Physical Activity Plan.