In this course, we will discuss how policy, environmental and systems change interventions in support of physical activity have the potential to improve health equity for large segments of the population. Physical activity measurement, epidemiology, and recommended guidelines will be outlined, and the socio-ecological model will frame the evidence for systems-based approaches to population physical activity. Students will learn about key elements of the built environment that support routine activity, such as land use plans and zoning, and transportation networks and funding. Throughout, we will explore how inequitable distribution of these policies and infrastructures have adversely impacted disadvantaged segments of the population often based on race, age, disability, income, and other demographic factors, and how these may be remedied. When appropriate, policy approaches to improved nutrition will be included (e.g., land use practices to preserve farmland, local ordinances supporting urban agriculture or limiting fast food establishments). The result will be a broad understanding of the evidence- and best practice-based approaches to healthy and equitable community development.
Developing Equitable, Inclusive Community Environments for Physical Activity