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Individually-adapted physical activity programs

Health Factors: Diet & Exercise
Decision Makers: Community Members Healthcare Professionals & Advocates Nonprofit Leaders Public Health Professionals & Advocates
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 20-49% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Individually-adapted physical activity programs teach behavioral skills that can help participants incorporate physical activity into their daily routines.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased physical activity
Improved physical fitness
Improved weight status

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that individually-adapted physical activity programs increase physical activity and physical fitness in both children and adults (CG-Physical activity, Cochrane-Foster 2005).

Programs that focus on goal-setting, self-monitoring, building social support, behavioral reinforcement, and structured problem solving have been shown to increase physical activity and physical fitness in a variety of settings, including worksites, schools, and communities (CG-Physical activity).

Programs that combine professional guidance and self-direction appear to have more consistent effects than programs that lack professional guidance (Cochrane-Foster 2005). When behavioral change interventions are combined with exercise programs, participants have been shown to improve weight status in some circumstances (Lombard 2009, Cislak 2012, Verweij 2011). 


United States

Individually-adapted physical activity programs are implemented throughout the country. Programs can be implemented as independent single component programs, or combined to compliment other interventions. Examples include A New Leaf and the University of California’s PACE projects (UC-PACE).

Implementation Resources

A New Leaf-Toolkit - Center of Excellence for Training and Research Translation (CETRT). A new leaf…choices for living: Intent of the intervention. Accessed on March 6, 2018

Citations - Evidence

CG-Physical activity - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Physical activity. Accessed on March 6, 2018
Cislak 2012* - Cislak A, Safron M, Pratt M, Gaspar T, Luszczynska A. Family-related predictors of body weight and weight-related behaviours among children and adolescents: A systematic umbrella review. Child: Care, Health and Development. 2012;38(3):321-31. Accessed on March 6, 2018
Cochrane-Foster 2005* - Foster C, Hillsdon M, Thorogood M, Kaur A, Wedatilake T. Interventions for promoting physical activity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2005;(1):CD003180. Accessed on March 6, 2018
Lombard 2009 - Lombard CB, Deeks AA, Teede HJ. A systematic review of interventions aimed at the prevention of weight gain in adults. Public Health Nutrition. 2009;12(11):2236-46. Accessed on March 6, 2018
Verweij 2011* - Verweij LM, Coffeng J, van Mechelen W, Proper KI. Meta-analyses of workplace physical activity and dietary behaviour interventions on weight outcomes. Obesity Reviews. 2011;12(6):406-29. Accessed on March 6, 2018

Citations - Implementation

A New Leaf - WiseWoman. A new leaf…choices for healthy living: Assessment and counseling for nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation, and osteoporosis prevention. Accessed on March 6, 2018
UC-PACE - PACE Projects. Regents of the University of California (UC). Accessed on March 6, 2018

Page Last Updated

January 9, 2014

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