Skip directly to search Skip directly to site content


Submit your email address to get updates on The Community Guide topics of interest.

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


Celebrate 10 Years with Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T.

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: Environmental and Policy Approaches

Image of red ribbon

Environmental and policy approaches are designed to provide opportunities, support, and cues to help people be more physically active. They may involve:

  • The physical environment
  • Social networks
  • Organizational norms and policies
  • Laws
  • Public health professionals, community organizations, legislators, departments of parks, recreation, transportation, and planning, and the media

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).

Community-Scale Urban Design and Land Use Policies Recommended
June 2004
Creation of or Enhanced Access to Places for Physical Activity Combined with Informational Outreach Activities Recommended
May 2001
Street-Scale Urban Design and Land Use Policies Recommended
June 2004
Transportation and Travel Policies and Practices Insufficient Evidence
February 2004
Point-of-Decision Prompts to Encourage Use of Stairs Recommended
June 2005


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: environmental and policy approaches. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.