Proclamations to Support Increased Physical Activity

Proclamation photo in Ridgeland
Proclamation photo in Ridgeland

By Lindsay Hovind

Active People, Healthy Nation is an initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which aims to get 27 million Americans more physically active by 2027. The American Heart Association is a proud supporter of the initiative. 

It’s clear that being more active benefits everyone and helps us live longer healthier lives. Physical activity can bring an array of health benefits – lower risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases, improved sleep quality, weight management, fall prevention, fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improved overall sense of well-being.

In an effort to promote Active People, Healthy Nation we are working with staff and volunteers across the country to secure proclamations in support of the initiative. You may be wondering what exactly IS a proclamation. Proclamations are statements by elected officials, often mayors or governors. These statements may declare support for an event or cause. They could simply state their general support, or declare a particular day, week or month to be in support of the cause.

Proclamation photo from Elk River Trail, West Virigina
Photo Elk River Trail WV Communities – Clay, Clendinin, Sutton

As of early November 2022, more than two dozen proclamations have already been issued in support of Active People, Healthy Nation. Take a look at the ever-growing list here. From Kauai, HI to West Chicago, IL, from Boise, ID to Tallahassee, FL, elected officials are recognizing the importance of promoting physical activity in their communities and inviting their constituents to get moving.

Are you interested in pursuing a proclamation in your community? Whether or not you already have a relationship with your mayor, city council, or county commissioner it’s an easy request to make. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t be nervous to reach out to your elected officials. Elected officials love hearing from their constituents about what’s important to them.
  • Email or call your elected official and ask if they would consider issuing a proclamation in support of Active People, Healthy Nation. It could be a general statement of support, or they could declare a day or week to be Active People, Healthy Nation Day/Week. Some elected officials may have a page on their city or county website where you can submit your request.
  • You can share sample language with the elected official or their staff. This language can be customized to suit your community’s values and needs; you don’t have to include every “whereas” statement or choose to implement every strategy. 
  • When the proclamation is issued, they may email you a copy, or they may invite you to attend a Council meeting to accept the proclamation. 
  • If you attend a Council meeting, you may be invited to say a few words about why Active People, Healthy Nation is important and how it can promote physical activity in your community. 

If you have any questions or need help along the way, submit your question through the American Heart Association’s Active Living Support Portal. How can we help you?

Hovind is a National Senior Advocacy Consultant with the American Heart Association.