Core Research Project: Policy and Environmental Change to Promote PA: A Participatory, University-Community Partnership



The core research project was directly related to the PRC mission of conducting core research that benefits the public’s health, promotes PA, and translates this research into practice. The research was focused on observing how organizational, environmental, and policy factors contribute to PA within a community setting and was consistent with the PRC vision, Physically Active People in Active Community Environments.

The research agenda, mission, goals, and objectives of the project were built upon promising research evidence that building walkable and bike-able communities can bring about improvements in PA levels that will lead to improvements in the health of the community. Through changes in the community environment and policies, this project aimed to increase the proportion of adults, ages 18+, who meet the CDC/ACSM recommendations for PA to achieve health benefits. Project objectives and activities based on these objectives were assessed through the 2001 BRFSS PA questions for moderate and vigorous PA, administered in the intervention and comparison communities and by comparison to the SC BRFSS.

The project had six goals:
I. Promote a bicycle-friendly community.
II. Promote a walkable community environment.
III. Promote an overall active community environment.
IV. Achieve sustainability of the coalition to promote active community environments.
V. Expand outreach to underserved areas to address disparities in supports for PA.
VI. Maintain community education activities and general advocacy efforts.


Sharpe P., Burroughs E., Hooker S., Pekuri L., Blumberg C., Hutto B. (2011). "Promoting a bicycle-friendly environment: community assessment and action." Prog Community Health Partnersh 5(2): 151-9.

Sharpe, P.A., Flint, S., Burroughs, E.L., Pekuri, L., Wilcox, S., Forthofer, M. Building capacity among community advocates in disadvantaged areas: Development of the Community Advocacy and Leadership Program. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education and Action. 2015 Spring;9(1):113-27. doi: 10.1353/cpr.2015.0003.