The Health and Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, with support from the Department of Health and Human Services, convened a committee of experts to develop strategies to help implement actions recommended to improve national physical activity surveillance. Dr. Russell Pate, director of the Children’s Physical Activity Research Group and professor of exercise science (University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health), chaired the committee and served as lead author on the resulting report, Implementing Strategies to Enhance Public Health Surveillance of Physical Activity in the United States.
Although physical activity has long been recognized as a key component of a healthy lifestyle, it has only become a focus on the public health sector in recent decades. In parallel with current efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy for promoting physical activity, experts are also working to create effective surveillance methods for the systematic collection and analysis of health-related data.
“The existing public health system in the United States includes some important physical activity surveillance resources, such as several different national surveys,” Dr. Pate says. “But many gaps remain to be filled, and that’s what we have aimed to achieve with this report – to provide a comprehensive set of recommended actions that, when taken, will contribute to filling those gaps and establishing a robust physical activity surveillance system in the United States.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on July 19