Active for Life. Final Results from the Translation of Two Physical Activity Programs

Sara Wilcox, Marsha Dowda, Laura C. Leviton, Jenny Bartlett-Prescott, Terry Bazzarre, Kimberly Campbell-Voytal, Ruth Ann Carpenter, Cynthia M. Castro, Diane Dowdy, Andrea L. Dunn, Sarah F. Griffin, Michele Guerra, Abby C. King, Marcia G. Ory, Carol Rheaume, Jocelyn Tobnick, Stacy Wegley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Background: Most evidence-based programs are never translated into community settings and thus never make a public health impact. Design: Active for Life (AFL) was a 4-year translational initiative using a pre-post, quasi-experimental design. Data were collected from 2003 to 2007. Analyses were conducted in 2005 and 2008. Setting/participants: Nine lead organizations at 12 sites participated. Active Choices participants (n=2503) averaged 65.8 years (80% women, 41% non-Hispanic white). Active Living Every Day (ALED) participants (n=3388) averaged 70.6 years (83% women, 64% non-Hispanic white). Intervention: In AFL, Active Choices was a 6-month telephone-based and ALED a 20-week group-based lifestyle behavior change program designed to increase physical activity, and both were grounded in social cognitive theory and the transtheoretical model. The interventions were evaluated in Years 1, 3, and 4. An adapted shortened ALED program was evaluated in Year 4. Main outcome measure: Moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, assessed with the CHAMPS self-reported measure. Results: Posttest survey response rates were 61% for Active Choices and 70% for ALED. Significant increases in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, total physical activity, and satisfaction with body appearance and function, and decreases in BMI were seen for both programs. Depressive symptoms and perceived stress, both low at pretest, also decreased over time in ALED. Results were generally consistent across years and sites. Conclusions: Active Choices and ALED were successfully translated across a range of real-world settings. Study samples were substantially larger, more ethnically and economically diverse, and more representative of older adult's health conditions than in efficacy studies, yet the magnitude of effect sizes were comparable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-351
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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