Over the past 40 years, physical activity (PA) and public health has been established as a field of study. A robust evidence base has emerged demonstrating that participation in recommended amounts of PA results in a wide array of physical and mental health benefits. This led to the establishment of federal and global PA guidelines and surveillance programs. Strong evidence supports the efficacy of individual-level (e.g., goal setting) and environmental (e.g., policies) interventions to promote PA. There has also been progress in establishing a skilled and diverse workforce to execute the work of PA and public health. Looking forward, major challenges include stemming the obesity and chronic disease epidemics, addressing health inequities, and diversifying the workforce. Given the known benefits of PA and the availability of evidence-based interventions, efforts now must focus on implementing this knowledge to improve population health and reduce inequities through PA.
Sarah K. Keadle, Eduardo E. Bustamante, and Matthew P. Buman
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Matthew P. Buman, Kimberly J. Romney, Monica R. Klatt, and Mari J. Stoddard
The purpose of this review was to evaluate the scope, impact, and methods of research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in kinesiology departments. Information was obtained from university websites, the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT), PubMed, Google Scholar, and Journal Citation Reports (JCR) from the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Knowledge. Abstracts from 2,227 published studies funded by the NIH were reviewed. The National Institute on Aging funded the largest portion of grants. Metabolic functioning, the nervous system, pathology, and cardiovascular diseases were the major foci. Human and animal studies were predominantly discovery-oriented (e.g., comparative studies, clinical research) with a large percentage of translational approaches. Recommendations for interdisciplinary research are provided.