Over the last decade, people have become more interested in environmental and policy strategies to promote physical activity. There is a growing body of evidence supporting such approaches. Environmental and policy approaches are especially important, as they can benefit everyone rather than focus on changing behavior one person at a time.

Our surroundings either encourage or discourage our participation in physical activity and healthy eating. DE HEAL develops strategies to provide access to facilities and programs and to support social environments that favor physical activity. Laws, regulations, and rules (both formal and informal) can define policies. We can direct our policies toward creating supportive environments. Such policies can also have direct effects on behavior by providing the basis for educational and behavior change programs, for instance.