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IVP & Safe States News: Partner News

Task Force Recommends Built Environment and Transportation System Interventions...

Friday, May 5, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jessica Austin
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Task Force Recommends Built Environment and Transportation System

Interventions to Increase Physical Activity


Dear colleagues,


We are excited to announce that the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) has issued a new recommendation to increase physical activity through built environment approaches that combine transportation system interventions with land use and environmental design. Because of Safe States’ leadership in highlighting the link between transportation planning decisions and health, and engaging with colleagues and partners in the physical activity promotion world, I thought you and your members would be interested in these significant new findings and recommendations.


The Task Force recommendation is based on evidence from a systematic review of 90 studies. These studies used diverse designs, assessed and compared different combinations of interventions or existing built environment characteristics, and evaluated longitudinal changes or cross-sectional differences for a wide range of physical activity outcomes.


What does the evidence show?

  • Physical activity increases among individuals in communities with new or improved projects or policies combining transportation (e.g. pedestrian or cycling paths) with land use and design components (e.g. mixed land uses or access to public parks).
  • Combinations of activity-supportive built environment characteristics are associated with higher levels of transportation-related physical activity, recreational physical activity, and total walking among exposed individuals.


This recommendation increases recognition of and support for public health and medical communities to actively engage with the transportation, land use, and community design sectors to address critical health challenges. The National Academy of Medicine and the Transportation Research Board, many of your own professional associations (including AAFP, AAP, ACSM, AMA, APHA, ASTHO, NACCHO, and NEHA), and the U.S. Surgeon General supported the Task Force’s decision to review this evidence.


Why is this important?

Physical inactivity accounts for about 11% of premature deaths in the United States, and $117 billion (in 2012 dollars; 11% of aggregate health care expenditures) annually were associated with inadequate levels of physical activity. Despite the health benefits, only one-half of U.S. adults reported levels of physical activity consistent with the guideline for aerobic physical activity in 2013 (Surgeon General’s Call to Action).


Share the news!

Following are links to more information and promotional materials we hope you will share with your colleagues and any others who may be interested.





  • Twitter®retweet @CPSTF messages about the new recommendation or tweet one of the following examples:
    • Evidence supports combined built environment approaches to increase  physical activity:   #TheCommunityGuide
    • See #TheCommunityGuide for new findings from @CPSTF about creating better environments for physical activity: 


What are the Task Force and Community Guide?

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) is an independent, nonfederal, voluntary panel of public health and prevention experts. The Task Force works to improve the health of all Americans by providing evidence-based recommendations about community preventive programs and services to improve health. Its members represent a broad range of research, practice, and policy expertise in community prevention services, public health, health promotion, and disease prevention.

The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) is a collection of all the evidence-based findings and recommendations of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and is available online at


We encourage you to visit The Community Guide website at Here you’ll find other recommendations relevant to transportation systems and built environments, as well as supporting resources such as Community Guide in Action stories that feature decision-makers who have used The Community Guide to make their communities safer and healthier. We have also added three websites below to use as additional resources.


Thank you for all that you and your colleagues are doing to support healthy community design efforts and improved transportation systems for all modes and users. We appreciate any help you can give us to spread the word about the Task Force’s new recommendation. Please let me know if there is any way we can assist your efforts.  

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