Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

November 2018

New Active Transportation Program Aims to Boost Health & Environment

By Deborah L. Vence

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and ecoAmerica have joined forces on a new active transportation program to help support the health of Americans and the climate. The partnership will combine ACSM's vision to promote active transportation and related health co-benefits with ecoAmerica's Climate for Health program.

"We do our part to make active lifestyles accessible to everyone," said Jim Whitehead, ACSM CEO and executive vice president. "Together with ecoAmerica, we can help Americans care for their health and our climate through active transport. We will engage in this work by implementing and advocating for active transportation through education, policy change and partnerships with civic leaders."

The partnership will support ACSM's ActivEarth global health initiative, which works to improve public health, the environment and the economy through greater levels of physical activity and active transportation like walking, bicycling or wheelchair rolling. ActivEarth helps to drive change by addressing the challenges that people and their communities face regarding active transportation.

Through ActivEarth, ACSM and ecoAmerica will work to build leadership, provide education and promote active transportation as a climate and health solution. In addition, they will work to raise awareness of the health effects of climate change on all physical activity, including competitive sports.

"Americans appreciate and want healthy and active lifestyles, but there are challenges," said ecoAmerica Founder Bob Perkowitz. "Air pollution affects athletes and all members of our society, and we know the impact of climate change is detrimental to our health. Most importantly, we know we can do something about it. ACSM and ecoAmerica are committed to providing helpful communications and resources about the importance of climate and how climate solutions benefit health."

A variety of resources are available, including:

  • ACSM's flagship journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, which explores the science behind active transportation.
  • ACSM's "Getting Started With Cycling" info sheet can help people get started with active transportation by selecting bikes, helmets and clothing.
  • A four-part webinar series addressing allergies and asthma, children's health, community design and transportation, and mental health teaches about the connections between climate change and health.
  • Climate for Health's "Let's Talk Health and Climate" provides communication guidance for health professionals.
  • ActivEarth resources are available to help you take action locally.

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