Study Found That New Programs to Keep Seniors Active Benefit From Partnering With Existing Organizations
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.