Background: Physical activity health promotion coalitions are uncommon but important for beneficial collective impact on public health. The authors sought to obtain the viewpoints of member organizations of an Australian physical activity alliance, the National Physical Activity Alliance. Methods: The authors conducted an online survey regarding member agenda, commitment, and vision for the alliance. Questions were mostly open ended (eg, “What are the 3 areas of priority related to physical activity that you would like The Alliance to focus on?”). A total of 11 Australian organizations involved in physical activity public health (eg, the nongovernment organization Alzheimer’s Australia and the professional fitness association Fitness Australia). Results: 82% of members responded to the survey. Member programs and goals were diverse and overlapping. There was agreement among members that the main priority area for alliance focus was a national exercise referral scheme. Barriers for members achieving their own goals as well as alliance goals focused on governmental issues, including inadequate government funding for physical activity public health. Conclusions: This novel survey highlights the promise and difficulties of a physical activity coalition, with the difficulties, namely lack of governmental funding, resulting in a stagnation of the alliance’s activities since the study was carried out.
Rebecca Reynolds, Santhya and David Menzies
Cassandra J. de Lacy-Vawdon, Ruth Klein, Joanna Schwarzman, Genevieve Nolan, Renee de Silva, David Menzies and Ben J. Smith
This review examines program features that influence attendance and adherence to group-based physical activity (PA) by older adults. Medline, PubMed, CINAHL plus, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library were searched for studies published from 1995–2016. Quantitative and qualitative studies investigating factors related to PA group attendance or adherence by persons aged 55 years and over were included. Searching yielded eight quantitative and 13 qualitative studies, from 2,044 titles. Quantitative findings identified social factors, instructor characteristics, PA types, class duration and frequency, and perceived PA outcomes as important for attendance and adherence, whilst qualitative studies identified settings, leadership, PA types, observable benefits, and social support factors. Studies were predominantly low- to moderate-quality. This review identified design and delivery considerations for group-based PA programs to inform best-practice frameworks and industry capacity building. Future research should use longitudinal and mixed-methods designs to strengthen evidence about facilitators of program reach and engagement.