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National Physical Activity Plan Outlines Metrics for Progress

Officials have announced which measures are to be used to evaluate the effectiveness of America’s first national physical activity plan. The National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) is a large plan with many moving parts, which makes complete oversight and measuring success difficult. Russell Pate, Chair of the Coordinating Committee for the NPAP says the metrics are still very helpful. “It may not be possible to evaluate the actions taken by every individual trying to advance the initiatives of the NPAP, but it is possible to measure outcomes that demonstrate the impact the NPAP is having, or not having, at national, state, and local levels,” wrote Pate in a blog post on the Move Your Way blog.

It is a “three-pronged” approach, says Pate, consisting of sector-specific teams to measure federal impact, state case studies and surveying of state and local health promotion officials. Federal efforts will evaluate progress and barriers, products, programs, policy changes, media influence and collaboration between the different sectors of the NPAP. At the state level, key representatives will be interviewed to find out how the plan is being used within the state. Learn more about each measure here.

The Physical Activity Policy Research Network within the Prevention Research Center at Washington University - St. Louis, is spearheading the NPAP evaluation effort with additional involvement from the Prevention Research Centers at UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of South Carolina.

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