Journal of Physical Activity and Health 2006 (2006)
Heath, G.W., Ross C. Brownson, Judy Kruger, Rebecca Miles, Kenneth E. Powell, Leigh T. Ramsey, and the Task Force on Community Preventive Services
Although a number of environmental and policy interventions to pro- mote physical activity are being widely used, there is sparse systematic information on the most effective approaches to guide population-wide interventions. Methods: We reviewed studies that addressed the following environmental and policy strat- egies to promote physical activity: community-scale urban design and land use policies and practices to increase physical activity; street-scale urban design and land use policies to increase physical activity; and transportation and travel policies and practices. These systematic reviews were based on the methods of the inde- pendent Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Exposure variables were classified according to the types of infrastructures/policies present in each study. Measures of physical activity behavior were used to assess effectiveness. Results: Two interventions were effective in promoting physical activity (community-scale and street-scale urban design and land use policies and practices). Additional information about applicability, other effects, and barriers to implementation are provided for these interventions. Evidence is insufficient to assess transportation policy and practices to promote physical activity. Conclusions: Because com- munity- and street-scale urban design and land-use policies and practices met the Community Guide criteria for being effective physical activity interventions, implementing these policies and practices at the community-level should be a priority of public health practitioners and community decision makers.