America on the Move Overview

Our Affiliate America on the MoveTM

Inspiring Americans to Achieve Healthier Lifestyles

The Initiative

America On the Move (AOM) is a national initiative dedicated to helping communities across our nation make positive changes to improve the health and quality of life of all their citizens. AOM aims to initiate and maintain meaningful and measurable social, environmental, and individual behavior changes that will serve to support healthy eating and active living habits in our society.

Santa Barbara joined with the AOM in late 2003 and is proud to be the first local affiliate of this prestigious national organization, as
Califonia on the Move in Santa BarbaraTM.

How will the AOM accomplish their goals?

  • Inspire Americans to engage in fun, simple ways to become more active, eat more healthfully and, as a result achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Research shows that walking an extra 2,000 steps each day, and eating 100 fewer calories each day is enough for most Americans to create a balance between energy expenditure and calorie consumption and sufficient to stop the current average rate of weight gain of one to three pounds per year. (Science, Feb. 7, 2003).
  • Create and support an integrated grassroots network of state affiliates. These affiliates strive to build health-promoting communities that support and engage individuals in simple, fun ways to become more active, eat more healthfully and, as a result, achieve and maintain better health.
  • Foster and lead collaborative public and private partnerships at the national, state and local level in order to build the capacity, reach, and support needed for environmental, social, and community systems and individual behavior changes. These changes will lead to a richer quality of life for all.

The Challenge

More than 60 percent of American adults do not exercise at the federally recommended amount of 30 minutes daily, and 25 percent of American adults do not exercise at all. According to a recent Harris Poll survey done by AOM, Americans spend 7.7 hours per day sitting and 4 hours per day watching television and playing computer games. More than 120 million Americans, or 64.5 percent of the adult population, are overweight, and almost 59 million, or 31 percent, are obese. The resulting incidence of more than 30 weight-related preventable illnesses has increased, driving up healthcare costs and reducing workplace productivity. As a result, obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death after smoking and will surpass smoking if the deadly trend continues. In fact, America spends $117 billion a year on obesity-related diseases, and 300,000 Americans die of such diseases annually.

Initiating Individual Change

AOM has discovered Americans can stop weight gain by creating a balance between energy expenditure and food consumption throughout the course of a normal day. The message is simple: move more and eat less. Making two small daily changes, taking 2,000 more steps (the equivalent of about one mile) and eating only 100 fewer calories, can provide big results. AOM’s pilot program, Colorado On the Move™, demonstrated that by setting personalized goals, people are more likely to initiate change. Most people get very little physical activity and a setting a step goal, such as 10,000 steps per day was too daunting for those most inactive. The pilot showed a starting goal of 2,000 extra steps per day over baseline was more encouraging to initiate change. Incremental goals enable individuals to set their own pace for increased daily activity, which in turn builds confidence to do more over time. The pilot also showed the importance of helping individuals understand the connection between the amount of daily physical activity and food choices for successfully preventing weight gain.

Initiating Community Change

Effective solutions to improve health and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity require a commitment of shared responsibility from individuals and the communities in which they live, learn, work and play. To that end, AOM will engage multiple stakeholders across the nation, reaching local communities within each state. AOM involves both the public and private sectors in its community-based initiatives. Public and civic leaders; health-related organizations; major academic institutions; public health groups; private industry; media; and retail organizations – will all be encouraged by AOM to collaborate to create positive solutions to address the health crisis facing our nation. AOM’s public/private partnership model will help communities across the country achieve an infrastructure that supports and sustains newly shaped behavior patterns.

Reaching Consumers

AOM is readily available at no charge to individuals, corporations, government agencies, schools, civic, religious and social groups and community organizations and is expanding to communities across America. AOM reaches consumers through four delivery channels:

  • A website, www.AmericaontheMove.org, where programs and tools are free to groups and individuals. Web tools enable individuals to set personalized goals and track their progress, get information about active living and healthy eating and news about local and national AOM events. Groups can by request implement a more comprehensive AOM web service for a fee. The comprehensive web option provides groups/organizations the ability to have a branded site and access to participation statistics as well as content management tools for some customization of the site.
  • A national network of AOM affiliates; state coordinators who collaborate with multiple partners to lead change initiatives and implement programs and events within communities.
  • National delivery partners, with a mission synergistic with AOM’s, (i.e. AARP, American Diabetes Association, American College of Sports Medicine etc.) work with AOM to bring programs to their constituencies.
  • Industry supported programs in retail settings, where consumers are given information support to make wiser eating choices and incentives to start moving more with AOM.

AOM Media Outreach

Phase 1: July 2003- Official launch of AOM – Within the first three weeks of the launch, AOM received over 200 million media impressions and 100 broadcast placements, sparking growth across America. AOM was endorsed by HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and USDA Secretary Ann Veneman.

Phase 2: March 9th, 2004 – AOM celebrated the growth of its initiative with its announcement of the launch of 12 new Affiliates. Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, and several members of Congress were invited to join AOM officials to offer their support and endorsement at the news conference on Capitol Hill. Affiliates that joined the growing AOM movement include: Colorado; Idaho; Indiana; Tennessee; Kansas; Michigan; Nebraska; Saratoga County, New York; Texas; Virginia; West Virginia and Santa Barbara– the first Affiliate for the State of California.