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New ACSM American Fitness Index® Infographics Available; Twitter Chat April 5

With support and funding from the Anthem Foundation, the American College of Sports Medicine launched the ACSM American Fitness Index® program in 2008 to help communities identify opportunities to improve the health of its residents and expand community assets to better support active, healthy lifestyles. Many communities develop programs and events as part of its strategic plan for improving residents health, but a more sustainable approach to gain traction is known as "Policy, Systems and Environmental Change" (PSE). The major difference between PSE compared to traditional approaches, such as events and programs, is that the PSE approach is aimed at long-term, sustainable and ongoing behavioral change.

The reason PSE is useful for improving health in a community is because encouraging people to live healthier lives isn't just about changing individual behaviors and creating good habits. Communities need to be places that encourage and promote healthy choices. A PSE approach makes healthier choices a real, feasible option for every member of the community by looking at the laws, rules and environments that impact behavior.

The AFI infographic, The Path to a Culture of Health: The Policy, Systems and Environmental Change Approach for Community-Based, Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, highlights examples of PSE interventions designed to increase the number of residents eating healthy foods as well as engaging in more physical activity. Learn more and download the infographics on the AFI blog.

How can a community create a culture of health through a PSE approach? Join the ACSM American Fitness Index® for a Twitter Chat next Tuesday, April 5 at 1:00 pm EDT with Brenda Chamness, M.S. and Kim Irwin, MPH. Follow #AskAFI, @ACSMFitIndex and @ACSM News to join the conversation. more

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