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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: 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).

Intervention Task Force Finding
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

Presentations and Promotional Materials

Action Guides

Places for Physical Activity: Facilitating Development of a Community Trail and Promoting Its Use 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

Community Guide In Action: Stories from the Field

Creating Walkable Communities in Rural North Carolina Adobe PDF File [PDF - 588 kB]
Walkable Communities: Video – 8:55 Audio/Video File

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

Investing in Worksite Wellness for Employees Adobe PDF File [PDF - 455 kB]

It Takes a Village: Rural Residents Help Make Their Community Healthier Adobe PDF File [PDF - 587 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]

What Works – Fact Sheets

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


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.