Highlights from the 2007 Pilot Agencies
The NRPA-AARP 10-week walking program was designed to help participants find safe places to walk, and provide tools and support to help them take personal responsibility for their health and stick with their exercise plans. Each participant received a free step counter and guidebook, and was invited to sign-up for a walking group and weekly education sessions on fitness and nutrition. The free program is part of a broader goal to help prevent illness and keep people well through positive changes to personal behaviors, like exercise and diet.
Participants were surveyed before and after the program to examine the effectiveness of the intervention strategies and tactics used in the walking program for increased physical activity among participants. Key findings showcase the successful outcomes of the program along with areas requiring more attention:
- Respondents' increased their level of physical activity.
- Almost half (44%) of respondents said they walk more frequently than they did before joining the program.
- Respondents noted positive changes in themselves in a number of different areas. Nearly a quarter or more of the respondents noted changes in six different areas -- energy level (46%), endurance (38%), weight (31%), strength (26%), mood (26%), and self esteem (23%).
The majority of respondents intend to continue walking and to use their Local Park and Recreation Departments suggesting that the program achieved both of these program goals related to continued physical activity after the program.
Below are the 10 agencies that participated in the successful 2007 pilot: