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Prev Med. 2005 Nov-Dec;41(5-6):837-42. Epub 2005 Oct 26.

A multilevel ecological approach to promoting walking in rural communities.

Author information

1
Prevention Research Center, Saint Louis University School of Public Health, Salus Center Room 469, 3545 Lafayette Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA. brownson@slu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Walking is a key focus of public health interventions yet is particularly uncommon in rural residents. This study's purpose was to determine whether a multilevel community intervention affected rates of moderate physical activity, in particular walking.

METHODS:

A quasi-experimental design examined changes in walking in six rural intervention communities in Missouri and six comparison communities in Arkansas and Tennessee in 2003-2004. Interventions were developed with community input and included individually tailored newsletters; interpersonal activities that stressed social support and health provider counseling; and community-wide events such as fun walks. A dose variable estimated exposure to intervention activities. Primary outcomes were rates of walking and moderate physical activity in the past week.

RESULTS:

At follow-up (n = 1531), the percentage of respondents who met the recommendation for walking was the same across the intervention and comparison areas. Among the dependent variables, walking showed some evidence of a positive linear trend across dose categories (P = 0.090). After adjusting for covariates and baseline rates, intervention participants in the moderate and high dose categories were about three times more likely to meet recommended guidelines for walking.

CONCLUSIONS:

Some evidence of effectiveness was shown for a multilevel intervention approach to promote walking.

PMID:
16256183
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2005.09.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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