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Kelly R. Evenson and Sara B. Satinsky

Background:

National plans are increasingly common but infrequently evaluated. The 2010 United States National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) provided strategies to increase population levels of physical activity. This paper describes (i) the initial accomplishments of the NPAP sector teams, and (ii) results from a process evaluation to determine how the sectors operated, their cross-sector collaboration, challenges encountered, and positive experiences.

Methods:

During 2011, a quarterly reporting system was developed to capture sector-level activities. A year-end interview derived more detailed information. Interviews with 12 sector leads were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for common themes.

Results:

The 6 sectors worked on goals from the implementation plan that focused broadly on education, promotion, intervention, policy, collaboration, and evaluation. Through year-end interviews, themes were generated around operations, goal setting, and cross-sector collaboration. Challenges to the NPAP work included lack of funding and time, the need for marketing and promotion, and organizational support. Positive experiences included collaboration, efficiency of work, enhanced community dynamic, and accomplishments toward NPAP goals.

Conclusions:

These initial results on the NPAP sector teams can be used as a baseline assessment for future monitoring. The lessons learned may be useful to other practitioners developing evaluations around state- or national-level plans.

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Kelly R. Evenson, Semra A. Aytur, Sara B. Satinsky, Zachary Y. Kerr and Daniel A. Rodríguez

Background:

We surveyed North Carolina (NC) municipalities to document the presence of municipal walking- and bicycling-related projects, programs, and policies; to describe whether prevalence of these elements differed if recommended in a plan; and to characterize differences between urban and rural municipalities.

Methods:

We surveyed all municipalities with ≥ 5000 persons (n = 121) and sampled municipalities with < 5000 persons (216/420), with a response rate of 54% (183/337). Responses were weighted to account for the sampling design.

Results:

From a list provided, staff reported on their municipality’s use of walking- and bicycling-related elements (8 infrastructure projects, 9 programs, and 14 policies). The most commonly reported were projects on sidewalks (53%), streetscape improvements (51%), bicycle/walking paths (40%); programs for cultural/recreational/health (25%), general promotional activities (24%), Safe Routes to School (24%), and law enforcement (24%); and policies on maintenance (64%), new facility construction (57%), and restricted automobile speed or access (45%). Nearly all projects, programs, or policies reported were more likely if included in a plan and more prevalent in urban than rural municipalities.

Conclusion:

These results provide cross-sectional support that plans facilitate the implementation of walking and bicycling elements, and that rural municipalities plan and implement these elements less often than urban municipalities.