factors can be evaluated. To be effective, social marketing campaigns should be tailored to different population subgroups with relatively homogeneous characteristics and linked with other interventions involving the built environment for evaluation. For example, a social marketing campaign targeted to low-income, minority populations could be combined with a community policing effort to create safe havens for walking and studied for the effect on increasing physical activity levels in these communities. This more targeted approach should prove more effective than mass messages about the benefits of being physically active. Possible audiences include but are not limited to (a) subgroups of the population segmented by gender, age, income, and race; (b) public and private officials responsible for community design, development, safety, and public health; (c) transportation infrastructure planners and providers; and (d) private employers responsible for workplace design and employee information programs and incentives.
Universities should develop interdisciplinary education programs to train professionals in conducting the recommended research and prepare practitioners with appropriate skills at the intersection of physical activity, public health, transportation, and urban planning.
Ideally, new interdisciplinary programs should be developed with a core curriculum that brings together the public health, physical activity, transportation, and urban planning fields in a focused program on the built environment and physical activity. At a minimum, existing programs in public health, transportation, and urban planning should be expanded to provide courses related to physical activity, the built environment, and public health. Similarly, practitioners in the field—local public health workers, physical activity specialists, traffic engineers, and local urban planners—could benefit from supplemental training in these areas.
Those responsible for modifications or additions to the built environment should facilitate access to, enhance the attractiveness of, and ensure the safety and security of places where people can be physically active.