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W-09 Exercise is Medicine/Poster - Exercise is Medicine: JUNE 2, 2010 7: 30 AM - 12: 30 PM: ROOM: Hall C

Creating Campus Partnerships to Increase Physical Activity: The Healthy Campus Campaign

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Board #73 June 2 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Ferrara, Cynthia M.; Murphy, Deirdra; Murray, Peter

Author Information
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 5 - p 265-266
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000386659.24064.61
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PURPOSE: The Healthy Campus Campaign (HCC) is an interdisciplinary initiative designed to develop partnerships to increase physical activity and improve nutrition at an urban university. The purpose of this study was to assess the perceptions of the community regarding the bikeability of the campus and to evaluate biking as an alternative form of transportation, while increasing physical activity and reducing risks for obesity.

METHODS: A longitudinal bikeability assessment was completed on a college campus for 3 consecutive years, evaluating the number of bikes on campus and bike transportation issues. Faculty, staff, students completed an online survey about the perceptions of the bikeability of the campus over the same 3 year period. Usage data of a new bike share program, initiated in the Spring 2008, was collected and evaluated.

RESULTS: Bikeability assessments indicated no change in the number of bikes on campus and a need for more bike racks on campus. Only 23% of community members who completed the survey rated the campus as a very pleasant or somewhat pleasant place to bike, while the majority (95%) felt motorized traffic on campus is heavy or moderate. Use of the bike share program included 308 and 149 bike share events between March and May in 2008 and 2009, with only students participating in the program. Bikes were borrowed for 184+17 and 162+26 min, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study created environmental interventions and installation of new bike racks in 2008 based on the bikeability assessment. The bike share program was successful for one subpopulation of the campus community, although more bikes and availability of bikes at different campus locations may increase usage by the entire community. There was no change in the perception of the bikeability on campus over the 3 year period, suggesting that the university still needs to work with the city to create bike lanes on routes between campuses. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that increasing physical activity in a community requires interventions based on a sociological model, addressing the needs of the individual as well as policy change. Successful community-wide interventions to increase physical activity will reduce the risk of obesity.

Funded by UMass Lowell School of Health and Environment Signature Initiative.

© 2010 American College of Sports Medicine