Programs that promote the benefits of an active lifestyle and encourage people of all ages to participate in regular physical activity as a means of improving health, preventing disease and enhancing the overall quality of their lives. The programs may be tailored for specific populations such as children, adolescents, older adults, employees or people with disabilities; and generally explain why physical activity is important, offer suggestions regarding easy ways to integrate physical activity into a daily routine (such as taking the stairs, going for a walk or parking further away than one usually does), describe specific benefits that can be experienced (such as building strong bones, strengthening muscles, maintaining flexibility, achieving and maintaining ideal weight, maintaining cardiovascular health, meeting new friends and improving physical self-esteem), and provide guidelines for the type and level of activity that is required to develop and maintain fitness or achieve other health-related goals.
Programs that help people who have a family history or other risk factors associated with a chronic disease such as heart disease and stroke, cancer and diabetes make lifestyle or other changes that can prevent the disease or limit the initial onset. In addition to health promotion activities that encourage healthy living, prevention also embraces early detection efforts, including screening at-risk populations, as well as strong community-clinical linkages to help ensure that people at high risk of chronic diseases have access to community resources and support to prevent, delay or manage chronic conditions once they occur. Some programs may provide preventive care interventions for people who have a broader array of health concerns.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.