NCPPA Policy Platform for the 112th Congress
NCPPA is responsible for federat advocacy efforts around the Plan for the 112th Congress. In support of thost efforts, NCPPA has adopted the following policy platform to guide our work in those areas.
NCPPA Policy Platform for the 112th Congress
The Policy Platform of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) supports policies that provide opportunities for all Americans to participate in physical activity throughout their lives.
EMPOWER AMERICAN CHILDREN TO ACHIEVE AT LEAST 60 MINUTES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY EVERY DAY
Physical activity improves student performance and overall health. NCPPA believes that increasing opportunities for physical education and physical activity before, during and after school should be an urgent national priority. NCPPA also supports policies creating greater opportunities for physical activity in early childhood settings and during non-school days with family and friends.
- Increase quality and quantity of physical education in schools and community-based partnerships: Active Legislation – Fitness Integrated with Teaching (FIT) Kids Act; Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grants in appropriations; Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students Act and 21st Century Learning Centers in the Senate Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization
- Facilitate shared use of school facilities
- Promote physical activity in early childhood settings:
Active Legislation/Regulations – Regulations for Child and Adult Care Food Program; Healthy Kids from Day One Act
- Increase adult and youth physical fitness surveillance
BUILD A HEALTHIER, MORE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE WORKFORCE
Worksite policies promoting physical activity are good for employers and employees. NCPPA supports policies that encourage employers to offer physical activity opportunities before, during, and/or after the workday. NCPPA is dedicated to making supportive work environments for physical activity the cultural norm.
- Provide tax incentives for employer provided offsite fitness center memberships to employees:
Active Legislation – Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act
- Allow Americans to use pre-tax health savings accounts for organized individual and team sports, fitness and exercise, recreation, and other physical activities:
Active Legislation – Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act
- Create a tax credit for employers offering an employee wellness program:
Active Legislation – Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention (HELP) America Act
- Facilitate the implementation of responsible regulations relating to the use of financial incentives for lowering employee health insurance premiums
- Collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthier Worksite Initiative
- Advise and assess progress of the CEO Pledge
INTEGRATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COUNSELING AND PRIMARY CARE
The American health care system includes barriers that often prevent physicians from discussing physical activity in a primary care or clinical setting. NCPPA believes that the system must be transformed to facilitate more conversations about physical activity between patient and physician. Furthermore, NCPPA supports greater data collection and tracking related to physical activity and physical fitness and adequate training for health care professionals.
- Establish exercise as a vital sign by incorporating physical activity into electronic health records and reimbursement schemes
- Classify exercise counseling as a reimbursable Essential Health Benefit and an effective preventive measure according to the United States Preventive Services Task Force
CREATE AN ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
American transportation policy has evolved into a system that does not support multi-model transportation, including active transportation opportunities such as bicycling and walking. As a result, millions of Americans are forced to rely on a vehicle for every trip away from the home. NCPPA advocates for retaining current funding levels of programs, policies, and projects to enable active transportation.
- Work to restore cuts and local control taken out during the transportation reauthorization conference: Active Legislation – Safe Routes to School; Complete Streets; Transportation Enhancements;
- Support Red Field to Green Field initiatives
- Increase evaluation and surveillance of active transportation
INVEST IN PARKS AND RECREATION PROGRAMS
Generations of Americans have relied on parks and green spaces for physical activity. Current economic conditions, however, threaten the continued maintenance of many parks and the programs they support. NCPPA supports greater funding for park and recreation programs.
- Support parks and green spaces:
Active Legislation/Initiatives – Healthy Kids Outdoors Act; America’s Great Outdoors initiative; and Let’s Move Outside
- Increase funding for park and recreation programs:
Active Legislation – Land and Water Conservation Fund; Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities (URLC) Act
- Support level funding for National Parks appropriations
PROMOTE THE NATIONAL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PLAN
The National Physical Activity Plan is an important resource for health policymakers. NCPPA is committed to educating health policymakers about opportunities to translate the National Physical Activity Plan into a broad spectrum and fundamental component of public health strategies. NCPPA also advocates for meaningful funding of these opportunities.
- Support public health infrastructure as critical for promoting and supporting physical activity opportunities for all Americans
- Support policy, programmatic, and other system changes to ensure that physical activity opportunities are accessible to all populations, including persons with disabilities
- Develop public health surveillance systems that inform prevention activities and decision-making related to obesity and physical activity
- Promote educational policy goals through coordinated school health programs, working with educational departments to increase physical education in the school environment
- Promote partnerships with planners, transportation, and developers to create mixed-use, healthy communities that are walkable and provide opportunities for physical activity for all populations
- Revise and update of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- Increase surveillance for physical activity and aerobic fitness
- Sync national policies with Institute Of Medicine (IOM) report recommendations
Fitness Integrated with Teaching (FIT) Kids Act – Legislation that would establish a framework for schools to assess at the quality and quantity of PE they are providing, and provide parents with that information so they can better understand the PE their kids are receiving.
Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students Act – Legislation that would authorize $1 billion for grants to states to develop comprehensive, data-driven, and evidence-based programs to advance student achievement by promoting student health and wellness, preventing bullying, violence, and drug use, and fostering a positive school climate.
21st Century Learning Centers – A federal grant program that supports the creation of community learning centers to provide academic enrichment opportunities outside of school hours, especially for students in high-poverty and low-performing schools. Grants are administered by state education agencies.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act – Legislation first passed in 1965 and reauthorized periodically that funds primary and secondary education, establishes education standards, and provides for professional support and development for teachers. The most recent reauthorization occurred in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind Act.
Child and Adult Care Food Program – A nutrition education and meal reimbursement program that helps providers serve nutritious and safely prepared meals and snacks to children and adults in day care settings.
Healthy Kids from Day One Act – Legislation that would establish a pilot program to address overweight and obesity among children from birth to age 5 in child care settings.
Workforce Health Improvement Program Act – Legislation that would allow employers to deduct the cost of providing on-site or off-site health club or gym benefits and prevent this wellness benefit from being considered additional income for employees.
Personal Health Investment Today Act – Legislation that changes the definition of a medical expense in the tax code to allow for reimbursement of physical activity expenses, such as sports league fees and gym memberships, from existing pre-tax accounts such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s).
Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention America Act – Legislation that would improve the health of Americans by providing fresh fruits and vegetables to all low-income elementary schools, providing tax credits to businesses that offer comprehensive workplace wellness programs, developing two-year targets for sodium reduction in packaged and restaurant foods, establishing uniform FDA guidelines for health symbols on food packaging, and providing grants for the implementation of community-based sports for people with disabilities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthier Worksite Initiative – Initiative at the CDC that strives to make the CDC a work site where healthy choices are easy choices. The initiative has been used as a model for other federal work sites, and the CDC has developed a website to further share resources about workforce health promotion.
Essential Health Benefits – A set of health care service categories that must be covered by certain health plans starting in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act. The benefits must include items and services from ten categories: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and rehabilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force – An independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that makes evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, or preventive medications.
Safe Routes to School – A grant program that provides funding to build and complete sidewalks in neighborhoods around schools to make it easier and safer for children to walk and bike to school.
Complete Streets – A community planning model that strives to ensure streets are safe and accessible for all users: pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclists, and drivers.
Transportation Enhancements – Federally funded, community-based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historic, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of U.S. transportation infrastructure. TE projects must be one of 12 eligible activities and must relate to surface transportation.
Redfields to Greenfields – A research effort analyzing the effects of acquiring financially distressed properties (real estate “in the red”) in major U.S. cities and converting them into green space: public parks and adjacent land banked for future sustainable development.
Healthy Kids Outdoors Act – Legislation that would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to carry out programs and activities that connect Americans, especially children, youth, and families, with the outdoors.
America’s Great Outdoors – An initiative from President Obama to promote and support community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to reconnect Americans to the outdoors.
Let’s Move Outside – A component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative administered by the Department of the Interior that connects kids and parents with nearby parks, trails, and waters.
Land and Water Conservation Fund – A grant program that provides matching federal grants to states and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities, as well as funding for shared federal land acquisition and conservation strategies.
Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act – Legislation that would provide matching grants to states and localities for the development and maintenance of community parks. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development would give priority to projects that connect children and other community members to the outdoors for physical activity; connect to public transportation; and contain safe biking and walking trails or routes.
National Physical Activity Plan – A comprehensive set of policies, programs, and initiatives, developed by a private-public sector collaborative, that aim to increase physical activity in all segments of the American population.