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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Emory Finds Increased Physical Activity Promotion can Improve Global Health Outcomes

A recent study published in the Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases journal found that increased physical activity interventions and strategies such as a strong policy framework, consistent investment in public health programs, multi-sectoral support and actions, and good surveillance can be replicated to increase physical activity on a national level within the United States and abroad.

Researchers from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health conducted a critical review of the evidence on physical activity promotion, and focused especially on national experiences in Brazil, Canada, Colombia, and Finland.

The team, led by Dr. Michael Pratt, professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Rollins School of Public Health, reviewed the evidence on physical activity interventions and strategies in each country that has the potential of population-level increase; defined and summarized the physical activity models and highlighted examples of effective strategies in each country. At the conclusion of the research they developed recommendations for public health policy research and practice implementation within the United States.

“Lack of physical activity accounts for more than five million premature deaths each year. It is one of the most important contributors to the global burden of disease that we face,” explains Dr. Pratt. “All countries that we observed were reasonably effective in advancing physical activity promotion on a population level. They have national public health plans with specific objectives that support and engage physical activity. These are great models for a global expansion of physical activity promotion.”

Complete findings of the study titled, “Can Population Levels of Physical Activity Be Increased?” are available in the January/February edition of the journal.