Environmental and policy approaches for promoting physical activity in the United States: a research agenda

J Phys Act Health. 2008 Jul;5(4):488-503. doi: 10.1123/jpah.5.4.488.


Background: Environmental and policy approaches are promising strategies to raise population-wide rates of physical activity; yet, little attention has been paid to the development and prioritization of a research agenda on these topics that will have relevance for both researchers and practitioners.

Methods: Using input from hundreds of researchers and practitioners, a research agenda was developed for promoting physical activity through environmental and policy interventions. Concept mapping was used to develop the agenda.

Results: Among those who brainstormed ideas, 42% were researchers and 33% were practitioners. The data formed a concept map with 9 distinct clusters. Based on ratings by both researchers and practitioners, the policy research cluster on city planning and design emerged as the most important, with economic evaluation second.

Conclusions: Our research agenda sets the stage for new inquiries to better understand the environmental and policy influences on physical activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity*
  • United States