The Effects Of Physical Inactivity On Human Physical Activity Programs Essay

The Effects Of Physical Inactivity On Human Physical Activity Programs Essay

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Physical inactivity is one of the four leading behavioral risk factors for non-communicable disease and the fourth leading cause of preventable chronic disease mortality in the U.S. (Danaei et al, 2009; Oguma, Sesso, Paffenbarger & Lee, 2002). Efforts to reduce physical inactivity at the community level aim to increase health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA) through physical activity programs (PAPs), such as starting a walking club at work or an ad campaign targeting women to increase awareness of the benefits of daily exercise. PAPs designed to increase HEPA are rarely designed with evaluation in mind, lack clear planning and implementation strategies, and often have vague goals. The development of a program theory is likely to be useful since PAPs are funded, planned and implemented without adequate attention to underlying theory of behavioral change. However, PAPs face several unique challenges for evaluation: implementation is not standardized, successful outcomes do not necessarily translate to a new settings, responsiveness to the community and the setting is needed as each is different, and there is uncertainty of outcomes.
Similar to similar health promotion interventions such as tobacco control, changing health-enhancing physical activity behavior requires a national policy framework providing direction and a clear set of actions for local members to implement physical activity programs. In theory, evaluation of these programs is needed to further enhance policy learning at the national level. and health promotion. The purpose of this paper is to analytically discuss the process of designing PAP evaluation. To understand the design process in health promotion evaluation, an article outlining design issues, an article...


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...ning. The acceptance that programs may, and eventually must, fail immediately follows. Given that fail-free policies cannot be developed, we need to shift thinking away from advocating for the right policy or the best method to evaluate programs to stimulate experimentation, adaptation, and policy learning. Physical activity programs can therefore be seen as experiments that require systematic, ongoing monitoring and evaluation as elements of regulatory feedback networks (i.e., theories of change). This experimentation would allow for innovation and increase the probability of achieving a fit between programs and local conditions. Governance at higher levels may stimulate a process of information exchange to facilitate learning from local-level experimentation. In other words, a holistic approach to evaluation is required that goes beyond discrete program components.

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