An estimated 50–80 million Americans lead sedentary lives, putting them at risk for a variety of chronic health conditions and early death.

Regular physical activity is an important part of improving and maintaining overall health and wellness. Physical activity helps reduce the risk of obesity and other chronic diseases, boosts physical fitness, improves mental health, and can increase longevity. According to the CDC, children and adolescents should engage in physical activity for 1 hour or more each day, while adults need a mix of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) and muscle-strengthening activity each week. However, national data indicate that 30 percent of U.S. adults do not engage in any leisure-time physical activity, while fewer than half of all adults meet or exceed the CDC guidelines. CHMI supports environmental and lifestyle interventions to help all Americans enjoy the benefits of regular physical activity.

Project Play Final Report Released
Read the full Project Play report to learn more about how to get all kids physically active through sports.


Stemming from a partnership with the Aspen Institute and Nike, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative is working to increase access to sports and physical activity for underserved youth by using a collective impact model of action to target resources, programming, and attention to those children who need it most. We are working with stakeholders at both the national and local levels to ensure access to the beneficial health impact of sports and physical activity in the daily lives of individuals and communities.

Houston and Harris County Sports Coalition

Our Access to Sports program engages youth serving organizations in Houston and Harris County, Texas, to increase opportunity for sports and physical activity for underrepresented youth such as girls, children of color, children from low-income communities, LGBT youth, and children with disabilities. Using the Project Play Report as a framework for change, we are building a coalition of these youth-serving organizations to create a scalable model of engagement, empowerment, and health improvement designed to maximize the benefits of sport and physical activity for better health for all youth.

The Access to Sports Coalition seeks to promote and protect the interests of youth sports and opportunities for physical activity by collaborating with each other as well as external stakeholders that have an interest in increasing access to sports and physical activity. In Houston and Harris County, the Access to Sports Coalition is comprised of over 25 youth-serving organizations including the YMCA of Greater Houston, Harris County Recreation and Park Association, The First Tee, Girls on the Run, Playworks, Houston Sports Authority, USTA of Texas, and many other sports leagues and coaches. The Coalition works to build greater organizational capacity through meetings, events, trainings, and the sharing of resources to increase engagement of underserved youth.

Using the same collective impact model that CHMI uses at the broader community health level, the Access to Sports Coalition will continue to promote youth engagement through its work in sports and physical activity programs in Houston and Harris County to encourage young people to start and stay in sports, keep physically active for the long term, and reduce the prevalence of chronic disease and health inequities. From this work CHMI will build a replicable and scalable model of success that can be utilized by other cities and counties to ensure that the efforts to increase sports and physical activity opportunities for underserved youth builds momentum both regionally and nationwide.