Active Living

All people should have safe spaces to be physically active.

Being physically active is an important part of living a healthy life. Too many North Carolinians don’t have the opportunity to be active because of their built environment (their human-made surroundings). NCAH’s policy priorities aim to increase opportunities for active living for all North Carolinians.

2024 Goals

  • Support bicycle and pedestrian coalitions to promote access to routine physical activity
  • Support partners to implement equitable health policies at the local level
  • Grow our coalitions and connect with new partners across the state

NCAH may also support other mission-related policies as they arise.

Want more information? Active living resources can be found here.


Physical education addresses the needs of the whole student and has a positive impact on their physical, emotional, and mental health. Physical education reduces stress and increases self-esteem, keeping students’ minds and bodies healthy. When students have physical education, they do better in school and have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases. By teaching students about the importance of physical activity when they are young, we can ensure they pick up healthy habits that will last them a lifetime.

The Goal

NCAH advocates for appropriations to fully fund physical education programs.

Our Progress

NCAH continues to seek funding for physical education programs, and has made incremental progress.

Our previous successes include passage of HB 901, PE and Health Honors Courses, which created the option for schools to offer Healthful Living honors courses to provide an advanced level of learning and training in allied health for high school students, and HB 1757, Fitness Testing in Schools, which required fitness testing (FitnessGram) in schools as a part of a comprehensive physical education program.

Early Care and Education

Every child deserves to be set up for success. This includes ensuring ample opportunities for physical activity and limiting screen time during the first years of a child’s life, when growth and development are happening at a rapid pace. Children who are physically active when they are young are more likely to grow up to be healthy adults, have better fine motor skills, and are better able to concentrate and learn.

The Goal

NCAH advocates for improvements to statewide Division of Child Development and Early Education childcare regulation standards addressing best practices in infant and child outdoor learning and play, physical activity, and screen time.

Our Progress

NCAH has worked with the Division of Child Development and Early Education to improve statewide standards addressing child outdoor learning and play, physical activity, and screen time.

NCAH supports the creation of statewide designation or recognition of programs that meet best practices.


All North Carolinians have the right to live in a community where they can be active and do so safely. Built environments are crucial to creating healthy communities and influence the community’s ability to be active. Important components of built environments include multi-modal transportation infrastructure or “complete streets” (e.g., mass transit, sidewalks, bike lanes, “complete streets”), recreation opportunities (e.g. parks, trails, greenways), the integration of healthy land use (“sustainable communities”).

The Goal

NCAH advocates for policies and appropriations that support the ability of communities to promote access to and engage in routine physical activity.

Our Progress

NCAH has worked with partners to advance active living policies, including complete streets and safe routes policies.