Physical Activity Environment

The Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity works to improve access to physical activity following guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Environmental approaches strive to make healthy behaviors easier and more convenient for Americans. Program efforts target communities, worksites, early care and education (ECE), and schools. 

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. 


I-WALK is an Iowa walkability program administered by Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and implemented by communities across Iowa. The goal of I-WALK is to provide community coalitions with relevant local information to help them continuously update, implement, and evaluate their community walking plans. I-WALK has a heavy emphasis on data collection and analysis, with the goal of providing communities with the best up-to-date information and data analysis to be used as a catalyst for environmental change.


IDPH is partnering with the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, Healthy Opportunities  to bring more physical activity opportunities for its employees.  The project utilizes department-level wellness champions to disseminate stairwell campaigns, walking maps and other learning opportunities. 

Early Care and Education 

IDPH is working with targeted child care centers and trainers to implement Nutrition And Physical Activity Self Assessment for Child Care (NAPSACC) physical activity goals based on best practices.  For more information about NAPSACC, visitwww.gonapsacc.org

Click here to learn more about how Mary Elizabeth Child Care in Woodbury County used NAP SACC to improve their nutrition and physical activity environment.


IDPH in partnership with the Department of Education, has worked to create Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP).   For information on other strategies, check out the School Wellness page on the Department of Education website. 

Prior physical activity resources were developed through the Iowans Fit for Life program.  Please see the Resources tab for toolkits and resources developed to support physical activity during the previous funding period.