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Translating active living research into policy and practice: One important pathway to chronic disease prevention

Authors
  • Giles-Corti, Billie1
  • Sallis, James F2
  • Sugiyama, Takemi1, 3
  • Frank, Lawrence D4
  • Lowe, Melanie1
  • Owen, Neville1, 5
  • 1 McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing, Academic Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Level 5, 207 Bouverie Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3010, Australia , Melbourne (Australia)
  • 2 University of California, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, San Diego, California , San Diego
  • 3 School of Population Health, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia , Adelaide (Australia)
  • 4 School of Community and Regional Planning and the School of Population and Public Health, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada , Vancouver (Canada)
  • 5 Behavioural Epidemiology Laboratory, Baker IDI Health and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia , Melbourne (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Public Health Policy
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication Date
Jan 22, 2015
Volume
36
Issue
2
Pages
231–243
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1057/jphp.2014.53
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Global concerns about rising levels of chronic disease make timely translation of research into policy and practice a priority. There is a need to tackle common risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and harmful alcohol use. Using evidence to inform policy and practice is challenging, often hampered by a poor fit between academic research and the needs of policymakers and practitioners – notably for active living researchers whose objective is to increase population physical activity by changing the ways cities are designed and built. We propose 10 strategies that may facilitate translation of research into health-enhancing urban planning policy. Strategies include interdisciplinary research teams of policymakers and practitioners; undertaking explicitly policy-relevant research; adopting appropriate study designs and methodologies (evaluation of policy initiatives as ‘natural experiments’); and adopting dissemination strategies that include knowledge brokers, advocates, and lobbyists. Conducting more policy-relevant research will require training for researchers as well as different rewards in academia.

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