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Background: Architects of the United States national physical activity plan can benefit from a thorough understanding of national physical activity plans from other nations. The purpose of this paper was to search for and analyze comprehensive national physical activity plan documents that can best inform the development of the U.S. plan. Methods: Electronic databases were searched for national physical activity plan documents, yielding 252 documents from 56 countries. After eliminating documents that were not written in English, did not address physical activity primarily, and did not meet our definition of a national physical activity plan, we were left with physical activity plans from 6 countries - Australia, United Kingdom, Scotland, Sweden, Northern Ireland, and Norway. Key recommendations: Architects of the U.S. plan can learn as much from what was present in many documents as from what was absent. Examples of recommended components of national plans have been identified and highlighted for each of the 6 countries. Missing from all but 1 national plan document was a detailed process for accountability. Providing a clear path and detailed process of accountability will assist greatly in measuring short- and long-term success of the U.S. plan.


Bornstein, D. B., Pate, R. R., & Pratt, M. (2009). A review of the national physical activity plans of six countries. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6(Supplement 2), S245-S264.

© Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2009, Human Kinetics

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