Community-based social support for physical activity
Diet & Exercise
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||50-99% of WI's population
|Impact on Disparities:
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Community-based social support interventions for physical activity focus on changing physical activity behavior through building, strengthening, and maintaining social networks that provide supportive relationships for behavior change (e.g., setting up a buddy system or a walking group to provide friendship and support).
Expected Beneficial Outcomes
Increased physical activity
Improved physical fitness
Evidence of Effectiveness
There is strong evidence that community-based social support interventions for physical activity increase physical activity and physical fitness among adults (CG-Physical activity, Kouvonen 2011). Middle-aged women enrolled in a weight loss program, for example, have been shown to be more likely to lose weight if they experience social support from friends and family (Kiernan 2012). Community-based social support interventions for physical activity are considered cost effective (Roux 2008).
Available evidence suggests that these programs may not have positive effects on physical activity and physical fitness among adolescents (van Sluijs 2011). However, adolescents with low levels of perceived social support from family and friends appear more likely to engage in unhealthy weight control behaviors than peers with higher levels of social support (Vander Wal 2012). Additional evidence is needed to determine effects on adolescents.
Community-based social support interventions for physical activity are implemented throughout the country. Examples include CHAMPS and Wheeling Walks.
PFP-Social support 2008
- Partnership for Prevention (PFP). Social support for physical activity: Establishing a community-based walking group program to increase physical activity among youth and adults - An action guide. Washington, DC: Partnership for Prevention (PFP); 2008. Accessed on May 20, 2016
Citations - Evidence
- The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Physical activity. Accessed on December 19, 2016
- Kiernan M, Moore SD, Schoffman DE, et al. Social support for healthy behaviors: Scale psychometrics and prediction of weight loss among women in a behavioral program. Obesity. 2012;20(4):756–64 Accessed on February 4, 2016
- Kouvonen A, De Vogli R, Stafford M, et al. Social support and the likelihood of maintaining and improving levels of physical activity: The Whitehall II study. European Journal of Public Health. 2012;22(4):514–8. Accessed on March 1, 2016
- Roux L, Pratt M, Tengs TO, et al. Cost effectiveness of community-based physical activity interventions. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2008;35(6):578-88. Accessed on November 9, 2015
van Sluijs 2011*
- van Sluijs EMF, Kriemler S, McMinn AM. The effect of community and family interventions on young people’s physical activity levels: A review of reviews and updated systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2011;45(11):914-22. Accessed on December 12, 2015
Vander Wal 2012*
- Vander Wal JS. The relationship between body mass index and unhealthy weight control behaviors among adolescents: The role of family and peer social support. Economics & Human Biology. 2012;10(4):395–404. Accessed on May 24, 2016
Citations - Implementation
- Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS). Accessed on December 12, 2015
- Wheeling Walks. Isn't time you started walking? Accessed on May 24, 2016
Page Last Updated
January 10, 2014
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