Development and Evaluation of Walking Programs in Idaho
The four main objectives of this project are to determine: (1) demographic profile of individuals interested in walking programs. Information collected will include: age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, employment, family members (married, single, number of children, etc.), why they are interested in participating in a walking program and if their reason for participating changes over time. For example, some people start an exercise regimen to look better (cosmetic reason) but find if they adhere to the program that exercise makes them feel better (health reason). (2) components that should be included in a walking program. The following components will be tested: a. The use of a pedometer versus a record of the amount of time spent being physically active. b. Most effective length of the walking program Research indicates that it takes 6 months for a behavior change to become permanent, but researchers have found a 12 week walking program to be effective (ref?). c. setting goals. Each participant will set their own weekly physical activity goal, i.e. number of steps they feel they can complete. d. Provision of a variety of walking trails to participants versus self-determined walking regimens. e. Group walks versus having people walk on their own. f. Provision of feedback and encouragement to participants via newsletters, postcards, and email (3) barriers to participating in a walking program and how they can be overcome. Information will be collected from people who have overcome these barriers and individuals who drop out will be contacted to determine why they did not continue with the program. (4) recommendations for creating successful walking programs.