Web Forum

Getting Physical: The Public Health Approach to Active Living
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 | 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Pacific

There is overwhelming evidence that physical activity is effective in preventing and treating many of the leading chronic diseases as well as maintaining healthy weight and improving longevity, well-being, and quality of life. Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading underlying cause of death in the US and the world. There has been a boom in the sale of fitness products and programs, ranging from running shoes to smart phone applications. However, over the same period of time, rates of physical activity have stayed at a constant low and obesity rates have increased to epidemic levels seen today.

The science of physical activity promotion has progressed as well, and there are several intervention approaches that have been shown to be effective, including those targeting individuals, social groups, and community environments. Many of them also are cost effective. The National Physical Activity Plan was launched in 2010 to take these interventions to prime time. The plan presents an eight-sector approach to making physical activity routine. The plan's vision is to make it possible for all members of a community to be physically active and live, work, and play in environments that facilitate regular physical activity.

Join us for an unprecedented Web Forum co-sponsored by Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. National leaders will summarize the science behind the physical activity guidelines and discuss the role public health practitioners can play in facilitating more physical activity in the population.






    William L. Haskell, PhD
    Professor Emeritus
    Stanford Prevention Research Center
    Stanford University School of Medicine
    Oakland, CA

    William L. Haskell, PhDDr Haskell is Professor of Medicine (active emeritus) in the Stanford Prevention Research Center and the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University. He has been a member of the Stanford Medical School faculty for the past 38 years with primary interests in applied and clinical research in preventive cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation, physical activity and chronic disease and successful aging.

    Dr. Haskell was chair of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee for DHHS (2008), scientific advisor to the World Health Organization for the development of WHO Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health (2010) and to the United Kingdom Health Ministries for the development of United Kingdom Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Guidelines (2011). Currently he is Chair of the International Review Panel for the Evaluation of Exercise and Sports Sciences in the Nordic Countries. (prevention.stanford.edu and med.stanford.edu)

    Joan Dorn, PhD
    Physical Activity and Health Branch Chief
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Atlanta, GA

    Dr. Dorn is the Chief of the Physical Activity and Health Branch in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at CDC. Dr. Dorn recently joined CDC after serving as Professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and Research Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the School of Public Health and Health Professions at the State University of New York, University at Buffalo.

    Dr. Dorn holds a Bachelor’s degree in physical education, a Master’s degree in physical education/exercise physiology and a PhD. Degree in Epidemiology and Community Health. Dr. Dorn’s research interests include the role of physical activity in the primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and obesity. (www.cdc.gov)

    Russell R Pate, PhD
    Department of Exercise Science
    Children's Physical Activity Research Group
    Arnold School of Public Health
    University of South Carolina
    Columbia, SC

    Russell R Pate, PhDRussell R. Pate has been on the faculty of the University of South Carolina since 1974, he now serves as Professor in the Department of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health. He has held several administrative positions including Chair, Department of Exercise Science; Associate Dean for Research, Arnold School of Public Health; and Vice Provost for Health Sciences.

    Pate has published more than 230 scholarly papers and has authored or edited three books. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association, and several private foundations and corporations. He heads a research team that currently is supported by three grants from the National Institutes of Health. A lifelong distance runner, Pate competed in three U.S. Olympic Trials marathons and twice placed among the top ten finishers in the Boston Marathon. (www.sph.sc.edu and www.sph.sc.edu/USC_CPARG)


    Deborah Lou, PhD
    Program Analyst
    Active Living Research
    A National Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    San Diego State University
    San Diego, CA

    Deborah Lou, PhDDebbie Lou is the program analyst with Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Debbie engages advocacy, policy, and community groups to develop opportunities for research translation and dissemination, especially to ensure the research meets the needs of communities at highest risk for childhood obesity.

    Debbie is co-author of a research synthesis with Dr. Wendell Taylor titled “Do All Children Have Places to be Active?” This synthesis reviews evidence showing that lower-income people and racial and ethnic minorities often live in communities that discourage active living. Debbie holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. (www.activelivingresearch.org)


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

Haskell/Stanford University School of Medicine

Dorn/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Pate/Arnold School of Public Health


The following documents provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.


The organizations listed below have come together to sponsor this important effort:

Public Health Institute Logo The California Endowment http://www.activelivingresearch.org/

Public Health Institute

The California Endowment

Active Living Research