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PRC Project Description

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Physical Activity Policy Research Network


Host Institution
Saint Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis (previous center): Prevention Research Center in St. Louis
University of Colorado Denver (previous center): Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center
Harvard University (previous center): Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity
Tulane University: Prevention Research Center
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester: Prevention Research Center

Health Topics
Community health | Nutrition | Physical activity | School health

More than half of U.S. adults do not meet national recommendations for regular physical activity, despite the health benefits for lowering the risk for obesity and chronic disease. People often face barriers to physical activity such as unsafe neighborhoods, limited access to parks, and lack of sidewalks. Addressing the social and environmental factors that support or discourage physical activity is important to forming healthy communities.

The Physical Activity and Policy Research Network (PAPRN) aims to increase levels of physical activity within communities. Researchers collaborate across disciplines and with community organizations to address physical activity policy across local, state, and national levels. Network members work to make physical activity a priority in settings such as schools and workplaces.

The network is creating a pilot project focusing on disseminating evidence-based physical education policies in schools, including extending the duration of physical education classes or encouraging teachers to build activity into regular class time. Network partners are comparing the characteristics of schools that adopt the policies with those of schools that do not. Researchers are working with national and local partners to develop toolkits to help school systems implement and evaluate these programs.
Research Setting
County/Parish | School or school district
Race or Ethnicity
No specific focus
No specific focus
Age Group
No specific focus
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Principal Investigator
Amy Eyler

Project Identifier
Physical Activity Policy Research Network - SIP 10-09 | Physical Activity Policy Research Network (coordinating center) - SIP 09-09

Funding Source
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity

Project Status