Evidence for Walking Programs

Walking Programs

  • Promoting Physical Activity: Behavioral and Social Approaches
  • Social Support Interventions in Community Settings (ex: walking groups, buddy system)
  • The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends implementing efforts made in community settings to provide social support for increasing physical activity based on strong evidence of their effectiveness in increasing physical activity and improving physical fitness among adults.

Results from the Systematic Reviews

  • In all nine studies reviewed, social support interventions in community settings were effective in getting people to be more physically active, as measured by various indicators (e.g., blocks walked or flights of stairs climbed daily, frequency of attending exercise sessions, or minutes spent in physical activity).
  • These interventions also improved participants’ fitness levels, lowered their percentage of body fat, increased their knowledge about exercise, and improved their confidence in their ability to exercise.
  • Interventions included in the review involved either creating new social networks or working within existing networks in a social setting outside the family, such as in the workplace.
  • These interventions were effective in various settings including communities, worksites, and universities, among men and women, adults of different ages, and both sedentary people and those who were already active.
  • SOURCE: http://www.thecommunityguide.org/pa/behavioral-social/community.html

Related RHI Profiles

Toole County Health Foundation – Trails to Good Health

Ready, Set, Move! Mineral Community Hospital, Superior

Rural Health Success Story Winner: Shelby, MT – Safe Routes to School