Sisters in Motion: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Faith-Based Physical Activity Intervention

Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Impact Factor: 4.22). 10/2010; 58(10):1863-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03082.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To evaluate a faith-based intervention (Sisters in Motion) intended to increase walking in older, sedentary African-American women.
Randomized controlled trial using within-church randomization.
Three Los Angeles churches.
Sixty-two African-American women aged 60 and older who reported being active less than 30 minutes three times per week and walked less than 35,000 steps per week as measured using a baseline pedometer reading.
Intervention participants received a multicomponent curriculum including scripture readings, prayer, goal-setting, a community resource guide, and walking competitions. Intervention and control participants both participated in physical activity sessions.
The primary outcome was change in weekly steps walked as measured using the pedometer. Secondary outcomes included change in systolic blood pressure (SBP). Outcomes were assessed at baseline and 6 months after the intervention.
Eighty-five percent of participants attended at least six of eight sessions. Intervention participants averaged 12,727 steps per week at baseline, compared with 13,089 steps in controls. Mean baseline SBP was 156 mmHg for intervention participants and 147 mmHg for controls (P=.10). At 6 months, intervention participants had increased their weekly steps by 9,883 on average, compared with an increase of 2,426 for controls (P=.02); SBP decreased on average by 12.5 mmHg in intervention participants and only 1.5 mmHg in controls (P=.007).
The Sisters in Motion intervention led to an increase in walking and a decrease in SBP at 6 months. This is the first randomized controlled trial of a faith-based physical activity program to increase physical activity in older African-American women and represents an attractive approach to stimulate lifestyle change in this population.

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