A multisectoral model promoting sociocultural environmental change to increase physical activity levels among African Americans in Los Angeles County, California, was developed and implemented. This model represents a true collaboration between a local health department and a community lead agency. Community organizations serving targeted areas of the county participated in one or more interventions incorporating physical activity into routine organizational practice, which centered around modeling the behaviors promoted (“walking the talk”). In the current study, level of organizational support for physical activity integration was assessed, as reflected in the extent of organizational commitment associated with each intervention. Individual-level data, characterizing the sociodemography, health status, and health behaviors of organization staff, members, and clients, are presented to document the average risk burden in the targeted population. Nearly half of the more than 200 participating organizations actively embraced incorporating physical activity into their regular work routines, with more than 25 percent committed at the highest level of involvement. Broad capacity and support for organizational integration of physical activity was demonstrated, with the observed level of commitment varying by organization type. Similar to the successful evolution of tobacco control, some of the responsibility (“cost”) for physical activity adoption and maintenance can and should be shifted from the individual to organizational entities, such as workplaces.
Associate Professor, Division of Cancer Prevention & Control Research, Department of Health Services, School of Public Health, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California Los Angeles; and, formerly, Director, Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. (Yancey)
Assistant Professor, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. (Lewis)
Associate Professor, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. (Sloane)
Project Director, Community Health Councils, Inc., Los Angeles, California. (Guinyard)
Assistant Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles. (Diamant)
Associate Director, Division of Community Health, Department of Family Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. (Nascimento)
Adjunct Associate Professor, Division of Cancer Prevention & Control Research, Department of Health Services, School of Public Health, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California Los Angeles. (McCarthy)
Correspondence to: Antronette K. (Toni) Yancey, MD, MPH, Division of Cancer Prevention & Control Research, UCLA School of Public Health/JCCC, A2-125 CHS, 650 Charles Young Drive South, Los Angeles, CA 90095–6900.
This publication was supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number 02153 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.
The authors thank and wish to acknowledge the contributions of county public health professionals, Todd Berrien, Jonathan Fielding, Eloisa Gonzalez, Cynthia Harding, Benedict Lee, Amy Lightstone, Anna Long, Danielle Osby, Angela Merlo Raines, Paul Simon, and Cheryl Wold, to the development of the model and provision of data; and of Nicole Evans, Forest Fykes, Adisa Griffin, and Larry Henderson, in implementing the model; and Cindy Benitez for her data entry and management assistance.