Emory University, Atlanta, Estados Unidos de América. Los Andes University, Bogotá, Colombia.
Introduction/objectives: Physical inactivity is one of the most important contributors to the global burden of disease and has become a global public health priority. Physical inactivity accounts for more than five million premature deaths each year, making it one of the most important contributors to the global burden of disease. Public health policy is beginning to be informed by this fact. Physical activity is included within the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases 2013-2020 and the global monitoring framework for Non- Communicable Diseases. Many countries in the Americas have national public health plans with specific objectives that support and encourage physical activity. In this presentation we review the evidence on physical activity interventions, actions, and strategies that have the greatest potential to increase physical activity at the population level. Development: The socio-ecological framework is useful for conceptualizing physical activity interventions, illustrating that physical activity can be addressed at multiple levels of influence and by multiple sectors outside the health system. Promoting physical activity on a national scale has been well developed and evaluated in Finland, Canada, Brazil, and Colombia. We will focus on Brazil and Colombia as possible models for other countries in the Americas. In the late 1990’s a new physical activity promotion model was initiated in Brazil: Academia da Cidade, a community intervention that started in the city of Recife in the Northeast of Brazil. Academia da Cidade is characterized by free daily physical activity classes usually in poor and dangerous neighborhoods, and led by trained physical educators. Research suggests that the program has increased physical activity, especially among women. Based on success in Recife the program expanded to the state of Pernambuco, and now nationally to as many as 4000 communities under the new name Academia da Saúde. In Colombia supportive local public policies and programs led the national sports institute (Coldeportes) to launch a national program in 2003 that was expanded in 2011. The program focuses on training public health and exercise professionals from each of the 32 departments in Colombia to deliver community-based programs modeled on successful municipal programs such as “Por su Salud Muévase Pues in Medellín, Risaralda Activa, and Muévete Bogota, and the ciclovías of Bogotá, Medellin, and Cali”. The national program includes free classes in public parks, plazas, and community centers similar to those in Brazil, and a network of 67 ciclovías (Vías Activas y Saludables). Evaluation of the ciclovía and community classes programs conducted through international partnerships shows that these programs are effective at increasing the proportion of the population meeting physical activity recommendations Conclusions: A strong policy framework, consistent investment in public health programs, multi-sectoral support and actions, and good surveillance characterize successful national physical activity promotion. Increasing physical activity in the Americas will depend on successfully applying and adapting these lessons taking into account country, culture, and context. Key words Evidence-based, physical activity, public health, global health, interventions. References: 1.Pratt M, Perez LG, Goenka S,
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