Promoting Physical Activity in the Workplace: Implementing the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan

Social Determinants of Health & Community

Laurie Whitsel

Laurie P. Whitsel, PhD, FAHA

Vice President of Policy Research and Translation Strategic Policy Lead – Physical Activity, American Heart Association


Release of the second  edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAGs) in fall 2018 provides an important opportunity to assure that everyone in the United States knows how lifesaving it is to move more and sit less.  Employers are a catalyst for disseminating and reinforcing the major recommendations in the guidelines as they are at a nexus of workplace, community, and health care delivery. The National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) is the road map for implementing the PAGs and has important recommendations for the workplace sector. We will review the NPAP recommendations which should be of special interest to employers, highlight the key benefits of the PAGs for brain health, productivity, weight management, reducing depression and anxiety, preventing and managing chronic disease, and lengthening healthy life expectancy.  And we will review the important ways employers can assess for physical activity,  cardiorespiratory fitness and sedentary behavior in their employee populations.  It is an important and exciting time to inspire a physically active nation.