The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an on-site physical activity (PA) program offered with congregate meals. Study 1 surveyed meal-site users on their likelihood to participate. Study 2 used meal-site-manager interviews and site visits to determine organizational feasibility. Study 3, a controlled pilot study, randomized meal sites to a 12-week group-based social-cognitive (GBSC) intervention or a standard-care control. Studies 1 and 2 indicated that most meal-site users would participate in an on-site PA program, and meal sites had well-suited physical resources and strong organizational support for this type of program. In Study 3, GBSC participants increased their weekly PA over those in the control condition (p < .05, ES = .79). Results indicated that changes in task cohesion might have mediated intervention effectiveness. These studies demonstrate that a PA program offered in this venue is feasible, is effective in promoting PA, and could have a strong public health impact.
Estabrooks is with the Clinical Research Unit, Kaiser Permanente-Colorado, Denver, CO 80237-8066. Fox and Doerksen are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, and Bradshaw, the Dept. of Family Studies and Human Service, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66502. King is with the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5705.