The Results of the “Positive Action for Today’s Health” (PATH) Trial for Increasing Walking and Physical Activity in Underserved African-American Communities
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The “Positive Action for Today’s Health” (PATH) trial tested an environmental intervention to increase walking in underserved communities.
Three matched communities were randomized to a police-patrolled walking plus social marketing, a police-patrolled walking-only, or a no-walking intervention. The 24-month intervention addressed safety and access for physical activity (PA) and utilized social marketing to enhance environmental supports for PA. African-Americans (N = 434; 62 % females; aged 51 ± 16 years) provided accelerometry and psychosocial measures at baseline and 12, 18, and 24 months. Walking attendance and trail use were obtained over 24 months.
There were no significant differences across communities over 24 months for moderate-to-vigorous PA. Walking attendance in the social marketing community showed an increase from 40 to 400 walkers per month at 9 months and sustained ~200 walkers per month through 24 months. No change in attendance was observed in the walking-only community.
Findings support integrating social marketing strategies to increase walking in underserved African-Americans (ClinicalTrials.gov #NCT01025726).
KeywordsPhysical activity Walking interventions African-Americans Perceptions of safety and access
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