Investigators at the University of California, San Francisco evaluated the feasibility of providing the Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS), a public health model to promote increased lifetime physical activity, through organizations with the infrastructure and expertise to conduct the program.
The principal investigators reported the following findings in a report to RWJF:
- All groups were aware of the positive benefits of physical activity.
- Representatives from all workforce sectors could name physical activity resources in their communities, but noted persistent unmet needs.
- The CHAMPS program was seen as feasible if integrated into existing resources, but concern over cost was present across many sectors.
- All sectors saw health care providers, especially physicians, as an important point of entry into a new program since most older people were thought to see a doctor.
- Health department administrators in the selected communities differed in how easily they felt the CHAMPS model could be integrated into their infrastructures.
- Service implementers felt stretched thin and were emphatic in their need for extra funding, staff and space to implement and conduct any new program.
- Health care providers' interest in a CHAMPS-like program was tempered by their perceived barriers to its implementation.
- Most physical activity instructors did not obtain a medical history or physician clearance for people in their exercise classes.
- Barriers exist at all levels to implementing a physical activity program: "Getting the word out" and funding were major concerns.