Evaluation of physical activity programs for sedentary mid-life and older adults: Best principles, practices, and programs

Adults over 50 years of age, the most sedentary age group in the United States, experience the greatest burden of chronic diseases. Over 1,000 community-based physical activity programs target mid-life and older adults; however, few, if any, of these programs have been formally evaluated. A recent survey of physical activity programs for mid-life and older adults revealed that program directors were interested in program evaluation, but they lacked the staff, resources, and training to conduct evaluations. This grant supports a project designed to understand and track community-based physical activity programs that target adults age 50+, and to select for rigorous evaluation those programs that show at least some evidence of promising outcomes. Project deliverables include: (1) a report based on a survey that tracks the presence/absence of program components known to be critical for effectiveness; (2) a two-phase selection and assessment of promising programs; and (3) a formal one-year evaluation on program impact of the selected programs. The project will be considered successful if it: (1) provides a baseline survey of the types and reach of programs currently available to adults age 50+; (2) offers a pipeline of promising community-based programs for more intensive study; and (3) reveals new information about effective practices within those programs.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $2,300,000.00

Awarded on: 8/29/2002

Time frame: 9/1/2002 - 11/30/2007

Grant Number: 44931


National Council on Aging Inc.

251 18th Street South, Suite 500
Arlington, 22202-3410


Nancy Whitelaw
Project Director