A Retrospective Evaluation of a Community-Based Physical Activity Health Promotion Program

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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The Community Health Intervention Programmes (CHIPs) is a physical activity-based health promotion program operating in disadvantaged communities in the Western Cape, South Africa with primary school learners, adults and senior adults. Program growth, anecdotal evidence and experience of those involved suggest the program has been positively received by communities. The aim of this study was to conduct a qualitative, retrospective process evaluation concerning both factors associated with successful implementation of the programs, and implementation challenges.


‘Success’ was defined in consultation with CHIPs staff and stakeholders. Data were gathered through naturalistic observation, structured interviews and focus groups (n = 104), and open-ended questionnaires (n = 81). The sample included CHIPs staff and stakeholders, program members and leaders.


Factors contributing to the program’s success include: focus on combining social development and exercise science, community development model, scientifically sound program content, appropriate activities, intrapersonal and interpersonal factors, program leadership, encouraging staff, and various contextual factors.


The findings confirm that CHIPs presents a model of sustainable implementation of physical activity in disadvantaged communities, and that it positively impacts the quality of life, perceptions of the role of physical activity in health, and personal responsibility for health of those involved in its programs.

The authors are with the UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Dept of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa.