Evaluating Programs to Get Sedentary Women to Increase Their Physical Activity Levels

Evaluating the effectiveness of self-help programs to increase levels of physical activity among sedentary women

From February 2002 through May 2005, researchers at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I., evaluated the extent to which Choose To Move and Jump Start, two print-based self-help interventions, increased physical activity among sedentary women. The evaluation compared these two groups to a control group of women.

Key Findings

  • After three months, Jump Start participants were significantly more likely than control group participants to engage in physical activity and to achieve the level of activity recommended by the federal government — 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, or 30 minutes on most days of the week. They were more likely to be physically active than Choose To Move participants, but the differences fell just short of being statistically significant.
  • After 12 months, the three groups had increased their level of physical activity from baseline, and, on average, participants were near the federally recommended activity levels. There were no significant differences between the three groups on these measures, however. Approximately, 35 percent of participants, regardless of group assignment, reached the federally recommended levels of physical activity issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $749,372 to support the project.

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