Physical Activity 

Programs: ALED | PEPPI | Governor’s Council on Fitness | Blue and You Fitness Challenge | Built Environment

The Physical Activity section of the Arkansas Department of Health believes that it is necessary for both structured and non structured exercise to be a part of every individual’s life.

The philosophy of the Physical Activity section of the Arkansas Department of Health contains two main components structured exercise and non structured exercise. Structured exercise is usually in a gym setting or consists of prescribed exercise while non structured exercise consists of finding time in your daily routine for physical activity. Examples of non structured exercises consist of mowing the lawn with a push mower, working in the yard, taking you dog for a walk, using the stairs, etc.

We encourage all individuals to participate in physical activity regardless of age, body type, weight, or abilities. We strongly recommend that individuals follow the federal guidelines for physical activity, or work up to reaching the guidelines. 

The State of Physical Activity in Arkansas 2011


Active Living Every Day

ALED- Active Living Every Day’s program is based on ground-breaking research that has resulted in two important discoveries about physical activity. The first is that accumulating 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on most days of the week can improve health. The second is that you are more likely to become and stay physically active when taught appropriate lifestyle skills. Active Living Every Day is a 20-week program that will teach you how to make them. You’ll learn how to overcome your own barriers to physical activities, set realistic goals, and stay motivated. Active Living Every Day will show you simple ways to fit physical activity into your daily life such as taking short walks during breaks at work, or using the stairs instead of the elevator.

Active Living Every Day (ALED) emphasis on moderate-intensity activity, fitting activity into life in realistic ways, and personalixing physical activity programs makes it appealing to just about anyone who wants to become more active. This evidence-based course uses established behavior change models such as the stages of readiness to change to empower people to overcome their barriers to physical activity. Participants find ways to fit physical activity into their daily lives and maintain active lifestyles even when difficult life situations arise.

Peer Exercise Program Promotes Independence

PEPPI-Peer Exercise Program Promotes Independence is a physical activity program specifically designed for older adults to increase and maintain their level of fitness and independence. The physical activity program includes strength training using resistance bands and walking. PEPPI program provides older Arkansans with the opportunity to learn how to exercise correctly (i.e using correct techniques) in a safe environment, both physically (at the senior centers, churches, or other community groups), and mentally (among people of similar age and health conditions), and to increase their level of physical activity. Peer Exercise Program Promotes Independence (PEPPI) is a physical activity program designed for older adults. Its purpose is to increase physical fitness and independence. It is led by older adults known as peer leaders, who have been trained in the components of PEPPI, including flexibility, balance, strength and endurance exercises. The peer leaders lead exercise classes for their peers in their community. The AR PEPPI program provides older Arkansans with a fun opportunity to exercise correctly, exercise in a safe environment, and increase physical activity.

Arkansas Peppi Peer Leader Manual

Arkansas Governor’s Council on Fitness

The mission of the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Fitness is to encourage health and wellness for all individuals in Arkansas by promoting healthy lifestyles through increased levels of physical activity.


  • Recognizing outstanding programs, developments, and contributions and achievements in fitness.
  • Assisting educational agencies and associations in developing quality school health and physical education programs.
  • Working with local government, communities, and professional societies to promote personal wellness.
  • Collecting and disseminating pertinent wellness information and initiating public service programs.

For more information visit the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Fitness website.

Blue and You Fitness Challenge

What is the Blue and You Fitness Challenge?

It is a contest during which employees or members of organizations participate in eligible exercises (cardiovascular focused) for a three-month period (March 1 – May 31).

What is the goal of the program?

The goal of the Blue and You Fitness Challenge is to encourage physical activity.

How the Contest Works

  • Participants exercise along a virtual map of the United States through 30 checkpoints advancing to the next checkpoint by satisfying one 30-minute exercise requirement (daily).
  • To stay on track and successfully complete the program in the three-month time period, participants need to exercise at least 3 times per week for 10 of the almost 14 weeks. There are 92 total checkpoints along the virtual tour for participants who want to exercise every day of the contest.
  • Completion of 30 checkpoints is the contest goal.

How are groups scored?

  • Established contest measurements with assigned point values are communicated at the beginning of the contest, then recorded throughout the competition.
  • Participating organizations are grouped by size and compete for a winner in each category (small group, medium group, large group, extra large group).
  • At the end of the contest, winning teams are named, based on accumulated points

Contest Measures and Points

Four measures are used to determine the winner of the Blue and You Fitness Challenge. The group with the highest point accumulation in each size category was declared the winner.

  • Highest percentage of employees/organization members completing the 30-checkpoint route – 35 eligible points
  • Highest average of most days exercised per week – 35 eligible points
  • Highest percentage of eligible employees (or organization group members) participating – 20 eligible points
  • Lowest dropout rate (lowest percentage of participants who signed up but did not exercise the first four weeks) – 10 eligible points

For more information visit the Blue and You Fitness Challenge website.

Built Environment

The Built Environment of a community refers to the impact that human planning and development has had on that community’s health, safety, and economic development. Concepts such as Complete Street Policies, Road Diets, Roundabouts, and active transportation all support a communities built environment.

Health - Communities that have developmental policies that include bicycle lanes, sidewalks and green spaces have a positive built environment. Communities without these and access to healthy foods are considered poor built environment. Neighborhoods with a positive built environment that include schools, libraries and parks, allow children to walk/bike to these destinations, increasing their health benefits. These neighborhoods allow adults to walk/bike to work or the neighborhood grocery improving their health benefits as well.

Safety - The built environment does not only affect health benefits of a community, but also address safety issues in society. Terms such as Complete Street Policies, Road Diets, and Roundabouts are all a part of a community’s built environment that assist in calming traffic and its congestion.

Economic Development - The built environment of a business district can also create new economic growth for the area. North Little Rocks’ Argenta District is a great example of this. Located just off the River City Trail, the Argenta District has had phenomenal growth in business and housing over the last 15 years. The built environment will impact the economic development by slowing traffic down in front of businesses and create a more pedestrian friendly atmosphere for shoppers, therefore improving business.

Resources for Built Environment

Neighborhood-Scale Planning Tools to Create Active, Livable Communities
Complete Streets - Spark Economic Revitalization