From the Editor-in-Chief . . .
Research interventions conducted under controlled conditions with highly trained investigators and research staff frequently provide encouraging results regarding the ability to increase physical activity in adults. However, the reach and sustainability of such interventions are poor, the cost high, and participants’ participation in physical activity generally terminates at end study. To extend reach and to increase sustainability at a reasonable cost, lay personnel or community health workers are utilized and trained by research personnel to recruit, conduct, and measure the results of physical activity programs delivered in the community. Ramalingam and colleagues explore the use of the community health worker that links community members to available health services. The community health worker is an individual who has a close understanding of the community to be served and can promote the engagement in health behaviors. However, the identification and training of such individuals is poorly understood. For promotion of physical activity, it is not known what qualifications are necessary for community health workers to facilitate physical activity in the community for a variety of individuals with an array of interests, capacities, and needs. The training procedures for community health workers that are to encourage physical activity are largely unknown. The authors provide a review to explore the typical characteristics of community health workers, the components of training to promote physical activity, and how these trainings are evaluated for effectiveness.
The Translational Journal of The American College of Sports Medicine welcomes original and review articles with practical, translational information to promote physical activity and policy.
Joseph E. Donnelly, EdD, FACSM