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The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) Go to site home page About the Task Force


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Adults need at least 2 1/2 hours a week of physical activity. CDC Vital Signs


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The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services

Together, the Community Guide and the Clinical Guide provide evidence-based recommendations across the prevention spectrum.


Increasing Physical Activity: Behavioral and Social Approaches

Hispanic couple exercising in a park

Behavioral and social approaches aim to increase physical activity by:

  • Teaching behavior change skills
  • Providing social support for people who are trying to begin or continue regular physical activity

Interventions may involve individual or group counseling, or the inclusion of friends and family.

Task Force Recommendations and Findings

This table lists interventions reviewed by the Community Guide, with a summary of the Task Force finding (definitions of findings). Click on an underlined intervention title for a summary of the review, and where available, Research-tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs).

Intervention Task Force Finding
Individually-Adapted Health Behavior Change Programs Recommended
February 2001
Social Support Interventions in Community Settings Recommended
February 2001
Family-Based Social Support Insufficient Evidence
February 2001
Enhanced School-Based Physical Education Recommended
December 2013
College-Based Physical Education and Health Education Insufficient Evidence
February 2001

Presentations and Promotional Materials

Community Guide In Action: Stories from the Field

Evidence-Based Recommendations Get Minnesotans in the Groove Adobe PDF File [PDF - 542 kB]

Putting the Community Guide to Work at Workplaces: Partnering to Reach Employers Adobe PDF File [PDF - 415 kB]

Rural Community Works Together to Stay "Fun and Fit" Adobe PDF File [PDF - 604 kB]

Action Guides

School-Based Physical Education: Working with Schools to Increase Physical Activity Among Children and Adolescents in Physical Education Classes — An Action Guide External Web Site Icon
Developed by Partnership for Prevention with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Social Support for Physical Activity: Establishing a Community-Based Walking Group to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth and Adults — An Action Guide External Web Site Icon
Developed by Partnership for Prevention with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Promotional Materials

Community Guide News: Community Preventive Services Task Force Recommends Enhanced School-Based Physical Education
Developed by The Community Guide

What Works – Fact Sheets

What Works: Increasing Physical Activity – brochure and insert Adobe PDF File [PDF - 859 kB]

Archived Reviews

Access summaries, supporting materials, and publications from previous reviews.

Related Topics

Cancer Prevention and Control

Obesity Prevention and Control

Worksite Health Promotion


The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Increasing physical activity: behavioral and social approaches. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.