National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity

National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity

The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) is a network of organizations that are working together to establish policies that “improve the public's health and prevent and manage chronic diseases through increased levels of physical activity.”1 While they don't believe they can mandate or regulate changes in individual's behaviors, they do believe that local, state, and national policy changes can make communities more conducive to physical activity.2

In 1995, thirty health organizations met at the headquarters of the American Heart Association (AHA) in Dallas, Texas to explore the need for a physical activity coalition. It was agreed that such a network was needed, and the American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) were given the charge to create the coalition.3

The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity became a reality in 1996, aided by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over the next four years the NCPPA expanded their leadership core, created a network of state physical activity coalitions, promoted physical activity through community action and media advocacy kits, and highlighted the Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health by holding a national news conference.4

Acknowledging with the CDC that physical inactivity is one of the three key areas “that need to be eliminated in order to prevent 80% of heart disease and stroke, 80% of type 2 diabetes, and 40% of cancer” occurrences, the NCPPA has adopted six goals:

  • Utilize policies in transportation, environment, education, and work sites to promote physical activity and thus improve the health of Americans of all ages
  • Combat preventable chronic disease and obesity by encouraging increased physical activity
  • Erase financial barriers to increased physical activities through the use of financial incentives and tax policies
  • See that physical activity is promoted in health care and education reform policies
  • Especially assist those Americans at greatest risk due to inactivity, such as the disabled community
  • Seek innovative programs to promote physical activity through policies5

Included in the nearly twenty Leadership Level membership organizations are the original organizations, AAHPERD, AHA, ACSM as well as the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), PlayCore, and the YMCA of the USA. Action for Healthy Kids and Pop Warner Little Scholars are some of their National Strategic Partners, and their Federal Advisory Panel includes the CDC, the President's Council on Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition (PCFSN), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).6

Starting in 2006, the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity began a four year process to develop the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP). Leading experts in such fields as Education; Health Care; Parks, Recreation, Fitness and Sports; and Transportation, Land Use, and Community Design gave input to the Sector Working Group for their field. Each of the eight national experts heading the Sectors compiled a “white paper” summarizing their recommended actions for increased physical activity.

A two-day working NCPPA National Conference was held in Washington, D.C. in July of 2009 where these national experts presented their papers and international experts presented physical activity plans of other countries. This information was utilized to begin formulating the National Physical Activity Plan. After several drafts, the NPAP was launched in May of 20107 as “a comprehensive set of policies, programs, and initiatives that aim to increase physical activity in all segments of the American population.”8

The National Physical Activity Plan is separate but supportive of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the Healthy People 2020 Campaign, and the First Lady Obama's Let’s Move Campaign.9

To implement the NPAP, the NCPPA formed the Make the Move Council and published the Make the Move Report. In 2011, they appointed Melissa Merson, a triathlon athlete and coach, as Executive Director of the NPAP.10

Through both their six core goals and the NPAP Make the Move Campaign, the NCPPA seeks to further their mission “to unite the strengths of public, private, and industry efforts into collaborative partnerships that inspire and empower all Americans to lead more physically active lifestyles.”11

  • 1. “Policy Framework & Platform.” National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. < http://www.ncppa.org/policy/platform/ > 30 Sep. 2011.
  • 2. “National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity.” National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. < http://www.ncppa.org/static/assets/PolicyPlatform.PDF > 30 Sep. 2011.
  • 3. “History.” National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. < http://www.ncppa.org/about/history/ > 30 Sep. 2011.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Op. cit., “National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity.”
  • 6. “Member Organizations.” National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. < http://www.ncppa.org/membership/organizations/ > 30 Sep. 2011.
  • 7. “History of the Plan.” The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan. < http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/history/index.php > 30 Sep. 2011.
  • 8. “The Plan.” The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan. < http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/theplan.php > 30 Sep. 2011.
  • 9. “Frequently Asked Questions.” The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan. < http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/faq.php > 30 Sep. 2011.
  • 10. “National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity Appoints Melissa Merson Executive Director.” National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. 26 Sep. 2011 Press Release. < http://www.ncppa.org/home/news/65/ > 30 Sep. 2011.
  • 11. “Mission.” National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. < http://www.ncppa.org/about/mission/ > 30 Sep. 2011.