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Title: health and fitness
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Active Living by Design: pathways to health

Active Living by Design is a national program supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"Opportunities to be physically active have been engineered out of daily routines in favor of convenience."

The Active Living by Design program seeks to establish and evaluate innovative approaches to increase physical activity through changes in community design, transportation planning, and architectural practices that seek to advance Active Living.

What is Active Living?

Active living is a way of life that integrates physical activity into daily routines. The goal is to accumulate at least 30 minutes of activity each day. You may do this in a variety of ways, such as walking or bicycling for transportation, exercise or pleasure; playing in the park; working in the yard; taking the stairs; and using recreation facilities.

Why We Need Active Living

clear photo: Family exercise on a community greenway
Family exercise on a community greenway

Opportunities to be physically active have been engineered out of daily routines in favor of convenience. It is often difficult, if not impossible, to walk or bike to many destinations of importance, and few places actually encourage people to be active.

The Public Health Burden of Physical Inactivity

  • Physical inactivity is a primary factor in approximately 200,000 annual deaths in the United States.
  • 29 percent of American adults are sedentary, and 70 percent do not achieve the Surgeon General's recommendation of 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity at least five days per week.
  • 34 percent of coronary heart disease deaths (the leading cause of mortality in the U.S.) can be attributed to physical inactivity.

The Benefits of Physical Activity

  • Regular physical activity can confer many health benefits, including promoting psychological well being, maintaining healthy weight, and reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and certain forms of cancer.

  • The potential cost savings if all inactive American adults became physically active is estimated to be $76.6 billion.

Our Program and Partners

Active Living by Design will provide funding and technical assistance to 25 diverse communities partnerships across the United States to develop and implement programs, policies and communications strategies that will promote opportunities for and remove barriers to routine physical activity, especially among low-income Americans who are most likely to be inactive and most vulnerable to poor health outcomes.

For more information, please go to our web site (www.activelivingbydesign.org) or contact us at 919-843-ALBD (2523).

SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
400 MARKET STREET, SUITE 205 CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA 27516

Email: INFO@ACTIVELIVINGBYDESIGN.ORG

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