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Physical Activity


Numerous health benefits come from being physically active including: a lower risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, some cancers, depression, improved mood and cognition, and better grades for children in school.

Currently, the DNPA is partnering with the CDC through the State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health cooperative agreement.  Through this agreement, the DNPA is working to increase physical activity in communities, worksites, early care and education (ECE) settings, and schools. Environmental approaches strive to make healthy behaviors easier and more convenient for Americans.

The National Physical Activity Plan



Complete Streets:are streets designed with all users in mind.  They enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Communities are encouraged to design and retrofit their communities with a complete streets approach, making walking and biking the safe and easy choice.
Active Living Workshops:The ISDH and Health by Design are collaborating to offer a series of Active Living Workshops to select communities in Indiana. These Active Living Workshops share best practices in creating active living communities through strategic plans, policies, programs and projects. Applications for workshops are typically advertised in January, with applications due toward the end of February. A minimum of five workshops will be awarded per year. These workshops build momentum toward action.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Funding Program: The adoption of bicycle and pedestrian master plans by Indiana communities is seen as an effective way to invest in healthy community outcomes. The ISDH is providing funding for Indiana communities to prepare a community-wide bicycle and pedestrian master plan. Applications for funding are typically advertised in November, with applications due toward the end of January. A minimum of two plans will be funded per year. Successful applicants will have one year to complete the plan.
  • The Indiana Department of Transportation has adopted an internal Complete Streets Policy and has been actively engaged in increasing the number of cities in adopting complete streets policies. 
  • Bicycle Indiana is a statewide organization that focuses on promoting, educating and advocating for bicycling in Indiana. Bicycle Indiana develops an annual resource guide for bicycling events throughout the state, educates children and adults about bicycle safety, and advocates for better infrastructure and better treatment of cyclists.

Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities

Indiana Complete Streets Map – Updated January 2017




The Indiana Healthy Worksites Toolkit for Small Businesses outlines strategic policies, environmental supports and activities to provide your employees with opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. This guide is divided into five sections:

1. Assess your worksite

2. Enhance your environment

3. Promote your efforts

4. Re-assess your efforts

      5. Additional tools



ISDH is partnering with the Wellness Council of Indiana to bring more physical activity opportunities to employers throughout the state, both large and small.

ISDH is also partnering with the Indiana State Personnel Department’s Invest in Your Health initiative, which utilizes department-level wellness champions to disseminate health insurance information, health promotion messages, and other learning opportunities. 


Early Care and Education

ISDH is working with targeted child care centers and trainers to implement Let’s Move Child Care physical activity goals based on best practices. Resources include physical activity strategies for preschoolers, toddlers and babies. For more information about Let’s Move Child Care, visit https://healthykidshealthyfuture.org/.

Best Practices for Physical Activity: A Guide to Help Children Grow Up Healthy: This guide provides the best practices for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children. When children are physically active on a daily basis, not only are they more effective learners, but they are less likely to be overweight or obese.




ISDH is working to create Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP) throughout the state. CSPAP is a multi-component approach by which school districts and schools use all opportunities for students to be physically active, meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.  

The Indiana Healthy Schools Toolkit outlines strategic policies and environmental supports to provide students and staff with opportunities to eat healthy and be physically active. This toolkit is designed to strengthen the efforts of the school wellness policy and Coordinated School Health Advisory Council. 2 The toolkit consists of six major components:

  • Indiana Model School Wellness Policy on Physical Activity and Nutrition
  • Chapter 1: Coordinated School Health Advisory Council
  • Chapter 2: Physical Activity
  • Chapter 3: Nutrition
  • Chapter 4: Staff Wellness
  • Chapter 5: Evaluation



ISDH also created the Indiana Safe Routes to School Guidebook. The purpose of this guidebook is to help communities and schools identify, seek funding for, conduct, and evaluate SRTS projects, specifically non-infrastructure. The guidebook will be useful for communities that have and/or are applying for federal SRTS funding, as well as for communities that wish to implement a program without federal SRTS funding.



Walking School Buses: A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults.  Find out more information at www.walkingschoolbus.org.