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Strategy Toolkit

Strategy HCO1.1: Conduct a community assessment of rates of older adult participation in community-based physical activity programs or opportunities.

Strategy Description

In order to increase physical activity among older adults, it is necessary to know where the community is starting. An assessment helps to identify the status of physical activity involvement among the older adult population and to lay the foundation for developing strategies for reaching these goals. This assessment will also be useful when evaluating the success of diverse efforts. There are various surveys and measures that can be utilized to document this information:

  • Community health status indicators, such as morbidity, mortality, and other health status data, such as rates of obesity or falling
  • The percentages of older adults who are sedentary and engaging in no leisure time activity, as well as those engaging in some type of physical activity
  • Program participation rates of community and worksite physical activity programs
  • Inventory and participation rates of older adults in fitness centers and clubs
  • Resource inventories: human, organizational, institutional, material
  • Inventory of outdoor resources: parks, recreation centers, walking/biking trails, etc.
  • Environmental surveys outlining pedestrian walkability

Additional Information / Case Studies

    • The Walk Wise Drive Smart Program aims to create more pedestrian-friendly environments for senior adults in Henderson County, NC, and surrounding areas. This community-based pedestrian safety program combined educational, enforcement, and environmental activities to create a safer and more inviting walking community. A variety of pre and post community assessments were used.

Active aging. Photo Credit:  Virginia A. Faust, NC Division of Community Assistance/ARC.

Recommendation

HCO1: Promote active aging options for the region's older adults.

Scale

Local