Environmental and policy approaches to cardiovascular disease prevention through physical activity: issues and opportunities

Health Educ Q. 1995 Nov;22(4):499-511. doi: 10.1177/109019819502200407.


The majority of Americans remain inactive despite evidence of significant health benefits from even moderately intense activity. Previous intervention efforts have generally focused on changing individual behavior. This article discusses the use of policy, legislative and regulatory, and environmental interventions in promoting physical activity to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other chronic diseases. The authors present evidence on the need, formulation, description, and effectiveness of policy and environmental intervention approaches. Types of approaches addressed to promote physical activity include federal, state, and local legislation and regulation, policy development and implementation, and environmental support. They also describe opportunities for state and local health departments to initiate and participate in environmental and policy approaches.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Environmental Health*
  • Exercise*
  • Facility Design and Construction / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Planning / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Liability, Legal
  • Public Policy*
  • Schools / standards
  • Social Support
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workplace / standards