Health by Design promotes active living, which is about integrating physical activity into everyday routines, such as walking to school or work or biking to the library or a park. Communities with transportation options and a mix of land uses encourage active living.
Health by Design is a partner in the Reaching for a Healthier Marion County initiative, as part of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) national program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. Our team is leading efforts to advocate for improved infrastructure and more activity-friendly routes connecting everyday destinations so that an increased number of people have safe and accessible places for physical activity.
In 2018, Health by Design received funding through the Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program to improve access and connectivity between Indianapolis neighborhoods and Indy Parks. The process included assessments, prioritization, community engagement, park activation, and action planning.
Between 2014 and 2018, the Health by Design team partnered with the Indiana State Department of Health Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program to hold 46 Active Living Workshops throughout Indiana. The workshops shared best practices in creating active living communities through strategic plans, policies, programs, and projects. The workshops included a walk audit and mapping exercise and resulted in a summary report to guide future efforts. Communities developed an action plan, reported progress on plan implementation, and shared a success story one year after the workshop. The Active Living Workshops planned for 2021 are being adapted to a virtual format and will allow for a regional approach.
Active Living Research is at the forefront of building evidence about how to create communities that are great for physical activity. They have learned that communities designed for activity are better for health, economic vitality, and environmental sustainability.
Healthy Places by Design advances community-led action and proven, place-based strategies to ensure health and wellbeing for all. They are strategic partners for communities and those who invest in them, helping turn visions of health into equitable and lasting impact.