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Participatory Research for Physical Activity Promotion

FUNDING SOURCE: CDC

TIMELINE: September 2002 - September 2005

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Patricia Sharpe, PhD, MPH (USC PRC)

CO-INVESTIGATORS:
Sara Wilcox, PhD (USC EXSC)
Cheryl Addy, PhD (USC EPID/BIOS)

The principles of community-based participatory research were used to design, implement and evaluate a social marketing intervention to promote physical activity in partnership with a community coalition and local parks and recreation department. Citizens of Sumter County, South Carolina provided detailed information about their opinions, preferences, and behaviors related to exercise and physical activity. Based on this information, the Step Up. Step Out! materials were developed to help people become more active on their own. The project has two components (1) media messages promoting physical activity to the whole community, but tailored to appeal to women and (2) a 24-week self-guided behavioral component for women ages 35-54. Women who participated in the study for 24 weeks increased their level of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity by 40 minutes a day on average, and many of the participants who were overweight at the beginning lost weight. These participants reported benefits from becoming more active, such as increased energy (64%), improved mood (62%), better physical health overall (57%), and increased self-confidence (52%).

The Step Up! Step Out! materials are now available online and are appropriate for adults, men and women. Weekly behavioral tips, an exercise log, testimonials, safety tips and other information can be used help individuals become more physically active. While some of the information, such as where to exercise, has been tailored to the project community in South Carolina, most of the tools and info can be used anywhere. Go to http://www.sumtercountyactivelifestyles.org and click on the Step Up! Step Out! logo.

Burroughs EL, Peck LE, Sharpe PA, Granner ML, Bryant CA, Fields R. Using focus groups in the consumer research phase of a social marketing program to promote moderate-intensity physical activity and walking trail use in Sumter County, South Carolina. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy. 3(1):A08 Epub, 2006.

Hutto B, Sharpe PA, Granner ML, Addy C, Hooker SP. The effect of question order on reporting physical activity and walking behavior. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. In press.

Peck LE, Burroughs EL, Sharpe PA, Granner ML. Recruitment strategies for physical activity intervention. American Academy of Health Behavior annual meeting. Charleston, SC, Feb.2005.

Wilcox S, Sharpe PA, Hutto B, Granner ML. Psychometric properties of the Self-efficacy for Exercise Questionnaire in a diverse sample of men and women. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2(3):285-297, 2005.

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