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Promoting Physical Activity

Current Studies

Built Environment, Accessibility, and Mobility Study (BEAMS): HPRC investigators are studying the barriers and facilitators to physical activity among 50-84 year olds with mobility disabilities. Read more.

Program Interventions

HPRC works with community organizations that reach and promote healthy levels of physical activity to large numbers of older adults through effective programs and policies.

EnhanceFitness (EF). This community-based exercise program was developed collaboratively by HPRC and our community partners, Senior Services and Group Health. HPRC is the organizational lead for EF research and evaluation.

EF is an example of how we work to bring research to practice. Investigators and staff serve on the EF Advisory Committee, speak at annual trainer and instructor meetings, assist students and other investigators in conducting research on EF data, and disseminate EF findings through articles and presentations. HPRC also plays a key role in adapting EF for frailer older adults, ethnic and racial minorities, and people with cognitive impairment and chronic conditions, such as arthritis.
Belza B, Snyder S, Thompson M, LoGerfo J. EnhanceFitness, an Innovative Community-Based Senior Exercise Program. Topics in Geriatric Medicine. 2010 Oct-Dec;26(4):299-309. Abstract

Physical Activity for a Lifetime of Success (PALS). This research study tested a structured telephone support program to help sedentary older adults become more physically active.
Batik O, Phelan EA, Walwick JA, Wang G, LoGerfo JP. Translating a community-based motivational support program to increase physical activity among older adults with diabetes at community clinics: a pilot study of Physical Activity for a Lifetime of Success (PALS). Prev Chronic Dis. 2008 Jan;5(1):A18. Online article.

Southeast Seattle Physical Activity Network (SESPAN). This research study encouraged community-based organizations in Southeast Seattle to 1) make connections with each other to create new senior physical activity programs and 2) build a network of groups and organizations to assist in making larger-scale environmental and policy changes to increase senior physical activity.
Cheadle A, Egger R, LoGerfo JP, Walwick J, Schwartz S. A community-organizing approach to promoting physical activity in older adults: the southeast senior physical activity network. Health Promot Pract. 2010 Mar;11(2):197-204. Abstract.

Workplace Solutions. The workplace is a primary location for promoting physical activity among working adults. HPRC investigators are working with the American Cancer Society (ACS) to develop and test dissemination of a workplace health promotion initiative, Workplace Solutions, to large and smaller employers.

Coalitions and Partnerships

HPRC collaborates with partners to develop policies, programs, and social and physical environments that promote physical activity for older adults.

Healthy Aging Partnership (HAP). HPRC is an active member (and member of the steering committee) of this King County coalition and participates in its projects that promote physical activity among older adults.

CDC Healthy Aging Research Network (CDC-HAN). HPRC is the coordinating center of this national PRC network. Network priorities include physical activity and aging and their intersection with the built, social, and policy environments.

Washington Alliance for Healthy Aging (WAHA). HPRC actively participates in meetings of this state-level group, which focuses on promoting the dissemination of research, best practices, and strategies for healthy aging.

Washington Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (WCPPA). HPRC served on the WCPPA board of directors and leadership team from its inception in 1999 to 2006.

Selected Activities

Assessing the state of the science

  • Through CDC-HAN, HPRC participated in conducting environmental audits in local and national communities to identify characteristics of the built environment that promote or hinder walking and physical activity for older adults.

Providing technical assistance

  • CDC-HAN partners with the National Council on Aging's Center for Healthy Aging for the dissemination of evidence-based programs, including EnhanceFitness and PEARLS.
  • CDC-HAN partners with the Environmental Protection Agency's Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging National Recognition Program and its Learning Network for Active Aging.
  • CDC-HAN provides consultation to the Health Foundation of South Florida's Healthy Aging Collaborative, a five-year, multi-million dollar initiative to support the adoption, dissemination, and evaluation of evidence-based health promotion programming for older adults in three Florida counties. Physical activity programming, including EnhanceFitness and Matter of Balance, is a critical component.

Providing training

  • CDC-HAN's national research-to-practice symposium in 2007, "Effective Community-Based Physical Activity Programs for Older Adults: From Research to Practice," resulted in a monograph and issue brief on program planning and evaluation.
  • HPRC participates in EnhanceFitness training through presentations, development of new materials, and expert consultatons.