Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Issue Areas

Physical Activity

Physical inactivity contributes to many of the leading causes of preventable death, and plays a major role in a host of chronic diseases and health-threatening conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Unfortunately, many communities do not have access to safe places to play and be physically active.

The Public Health Institute is committed to improving health outcomes by increasing opportunities for physical activity. We work to advance policy and environmental change to ensure that all communities have access to environments that support physical activity opportunities, and many of these efforts have co-benefits for the environment and local economic development.  Through community-based solutions, youth and parent empowerment approaches, and a focus on scalable strategies that benefit primarily low-resource, high-need communities, our staff is available to work with you to develop, launch, implement and evaluate measures to increase physical activity opportunities on the local, state, and national levels.

Our expertise includes:

  • Policy development and advocacy: Our experts have led and supported advocacy campaigns to pass groundbreaking physical activity legislation, such as: changing school-based policies, advancing active transportation measures, and creating local parks and green spaces. 
  • Designing and implementing worksite wellness programs: PHI has partnered with more than 200 worksites to introduce physical activity education and positive environmental changes, with a focus on low-wages industries like agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality and retail. 
  • Measuring the success of physical activity programs and policies: We can work with you to develop evaluation processes for new and existing physical activity projects; create data collection instruments, data entry templates, report forms, and training materials; conduct impact evaluation on social marketing campaigns direct project interventions, and pilot projects; and build the capacity of your staff to participate in ongoing project evaluation efforts.
  • Training: PHI experts are available to provide hands-on trainings for staff and coalitions interested in advancing physical activity. Our sessions include strategic planning, policy development, media advocacy, and more. 
  • Consultation and TA: PHI also provides consultation and technical assistance to support your work, as needed or an ongoing basis.


Resources and Tools

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Amy DeLisio

Amy DeLisio, MPH, RD is the director at the Public Health Institute Center for Wellness and Nutrition (CWN) and has over fourteen years of experien...

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Genoveva Islas

Genoveva Islas, MPH, directs Cultiva La Salud, which works to address poor nutrition and physical inactivity in the San Joaquin Valley by creating ...

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Lynn Silver

Lynn Silver is a senior advisor at PHI. She works to enhance and strengthen PHI's portfolio of programs in chronic diseases, regulation of mari...

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California Project LEAN

California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition) is a program of the Public Health Institute. It works to advance nutrition and...

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CAN-Act (the California Association of Nutrition & Activity Programs) supports healthy eating and active living in California by providing lead...

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Center for Wellness and Nutrition

The Public Health Institute Center for Wellness and Nutrition recognizes the connections among local community environments, poor diet, physic...

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Cultiva La Salud/Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program

(PHI program 2011-2018) The Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP) began in 2005 as a model program utilizing a policy...

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Dialogue4Health (D4H), a project of PHI, is a community that conceives, builds and shares strategies to improve the public's health. D4H p...

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Here's How We're Making a Difference

PHI's CA4Health Spreads Safe Routes to School

CA4Health, PHI’s statewide Community Transformation Grant covering rural and small California counties, worked with 100 schools to implement Safe Routes to School (SRTS). The program is locally driven and built around activities such as critical infrastructure repairs, parent-organized “walking school buses,” regular “walk to school” days and events, safety education, school zone traffic enforcement, and more. As a result, nearly 5,000 more California kids were able to walk and bike to school safely. 

Power Play! Social Media Campaign

Photo by Tim Wagner/HEACThe Children’s Power Play! Campaign, a research-proven social marketing campaign by PHI’s Network for a Healthy California (now the Center for Wellness and Nutrition), reached 500,000 low-income California children a year and improved attitudes about eating fruits and vegetables and staying physically active.