What’s This Research About?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is prevalent among Americans, particularly African Americans. As sedentary lifestyle is a known risk factor for developing CVD, increasing physical activity is a common recommendation to reduce CVD risk. As society has become more sedentary, wellness initiatives have been implemented in workplaces, schools, and the community to encourage regular physical activity and healthier lifestyle habits.

For any initiative to be effective though, people have to participate and engage in the program activities. Thus, it is important to consider the extent to which people participate and engage in these types of programs. There is limited research on which programs are most likely to garner decent participation rates, particularly in regards to the African American community.

This study was designed to assess participation rates among five lifestyle interventions aimed to increase physical activity levels within an African American sample. The five interventions consisted of three Hatha yoga interventions that varied based on number of sessions per week, one guided walking intervention, and one health education intervention with no physical exercise component. Authors compared adherence rates across the five interventions to assess peoples’ tendency to attend the interventions, which they refer to as the program feasibility.

Bottom line: in order for programs to be effective, people have to attend them. Thus, we need to look at what programs people are most likely to attend. This can inform decisions on how to best integrate physical activity into our communities.

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