Physical Activity and Public Health Practice

Front Cover
Barbara E. Ainsworth, Caroline A. Macera
CRC Press, Feb 22, 2012 - Medical - 371 pages

Physical activity remains a critical area of research as we consider cost-effective measures for lowering the chronic disease epidemic worldwide. In our increasingly automated society, many adults and children are not active at health-enhancing levels. In Physical Activity and Public Health Practice, a panel of respected researchers summarizes essential topics in physical activity and community health and guides public health practitioners and researchers in understanding the positive impact that physical activity has on a host of disease states.

Focusing on the benefits of physical activity across the human lifespan with emphasis on primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases and conditions, the book examines:

  • Historical insights into physical activity and health
  • Public health philosophy and approaches to understanding health concerns
  • Application of public health strategies to increase physical activity in youth, adults, and older adults
  • Known and effective policy and environmental approaches applied to various settings, including schools, worksites, and the community
  • The role of physical activity on growth and development and in relation to obesity
  • Methods for measuring physical fitness and applying U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for exercise prescriptions
  • How to promote physical activity among hard-to-reach populations

A goal of all physical activity health promotion advocates is to increase the opportunity for citizens to live active, healthy lives. Understanding the immense role physical activity plays in human health is critical to shaping programs and policies that will benefit the population. This volume catalogs the latest research and provides a window into future possibilities for creating healthier communities.


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About the author (2012)

Barbara E. Ainsworth, PhD, MPH, FACSM, FNAK, is a professor in the Exercise and Wellness Program within the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University (ASU). Her research relates to physical activity and public health with focuses on the assessment of physical activity in populations, the evaluation of physical activity questionnaires, and physical activity in women. Dr. Ainsworth is best known as the lead author for the Compendium of Physical Activities, an exhaustive list of the energy cost of human physical activities. Dr. Ainsworth holds honorary academic appointments at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Akershaus University College in Oslo, Norway. She has served as president for the ACSM and was a 2006 ACSM Citation Award recipient. Her teaching assignment at ASU includes graduate courses on research methods, physical activity and public health, and physical activity epidemiology.

Caroline A. Macera, PhD, FACSM, is a professor of epidemiology and associate director at the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University. Dr. Macera taught at the University of South Carolina for 17 years before joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a team leader for surveillance and epidemiology in the Physical Activity and Health Branch. During this time, she was involved in developing the Healthy People 2010 physical activity and fitness objectives. Dr. Macera has more than 30 years of experience as an epidemiologist and is a fellow of the ACSM. She has more than 200 publications in the field of epidemiology and public health, most with a focus on the role of physical activity and health. Dr. Macera is a coauthor of an undergraduate text entitled, "Basics of Epidemiology: The Distribution and Determinants of Disease in Humans," and teaches courses in epidemiology and chronic disease prevention.

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