A Community Educational Project
The contemporary technology-dependent world makes people’s lives more passive, which is why people move less, engage in fewer types of physical activity or exercise, and sit at work and during their leisure time. Such a lifestyle is recognized as sedentary and has been proven to have multiple negative impacts on human health. The threats of a sedentary lifestyle include increased risk for colon and breast cancer, bone and muscle impairments and weakness, increased blood pressure, elevated risk of depression, and other adverse outcomes (Healthy People 2020, 2021; Margaritis et al., 2020). To tackle this problem, the community project should be implemented by employing multidisciplinary approaches to promote an active lifestyle and obtain an increase in the rate of physical activity in the target population.
The prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle in modern adults and its impact on higher mortality has triggered significant attention to this issue in the global healthcare community. Healthy People 2020 (2021) contains a straightforward goal to “improve health, fitness, and quality of life through daily physical activity” (para. 1). Two fundamental elements of eliminating the sedentary lifestyle treats are physical activity in daily routines and planned exercise. For that matter, the two primary goals of the planned community-based educational project are as follows. Firstly, the project aims at decreasing the proportion of adults who do not practice physical activity in their leisure time (Healthy People 2020, 2021). Secondly, it is planned to increase the proportion of adults who moderately exercise at least 150 minutes a week (Healthy People 2020, 2021). This objective is validated by the statement of the World Health Organization that recommends “at least 150 min of moderate physical activity per week … for a healthy adult aged 18–64” (Makai et al., 2020, p. 1). Thus, the general goal and two specific objectives will be pursued through a specifically designed community-based project.
Project Implementation Plan
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the main causes of mortality and chronic disease. Individuals who do not perform a minimum of physical activity are more likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bone and joint impairments, and other medical conditions (Seguin et al., 2018). The population inclined to lead a sedentary lifestyle varies from adolescents to older individuals but is persistently observed in adults aged 18 and older who sit most of the time at work and at home. Much research reported by Healthy People 2020 (2021) recognizes a sedentary lifestyle as a risk factor for diminished health and wellness. Thus, enhanced physical activity and regular exercise have been promoted to prevent mortality and morbidity in healthy adults leading a sedentary lifestyle. Research suggests that a “physically active lifestyle can prolong the years spent without chronic diseases and is strongly associated with good mental and physical health” (Makai et al., 2020, p. 1). Thus, the proposed action plan is justified by evidence provided by reputable agencies and scholarly studies.
Place and Time of Implementation
The project will be implemented for six months, from April 2022 to September 2022. Such duration is validated by studies that identified effective changes in human health behavior under the influence of promotional and educational activities within six months (Seguin et al., 2018). The interventions will be held, including community centers, hospitals, community parks, and recreational areas. The exact locations will be specified upon partnering with public and private entities to cooperate to achieve the posted goals.
Teaching Materials Description
The educational materials used during the project implementation to teach community members about the importance of physical activity will be based on the evidence found in the literature. In particular, lectures in community centers will be developed based on statistics found in studies and provided by Healthy People 2020 (2021). Brochures and physical activity promotion in media will be distributed. Group interventions will be supported by spreading information about the health-related benefits of regular exercise. Moreover, the initiation of group activities, such as aerobics, walking groups, and others, will be instructed by volunteers having expertise in active lifestyle management.
Nursing actions for the proposed project plan are to serve its two goals. As Makai et al. (2020) state, the promotion of physical activity should be based on Bandura’s social learning theory that implies individuals’ learning of behavior through observation and modeling. Another element is the health promotion model, which requires creating a particular environment to induce healthy behavior (Makai et al., 2020). These theoretical approaches validate the choice of nursing actions and interventions aimed at providing community members with information and activity examples and constructing a favorable environment to engage in physical activity.
Firstly, it is planned to initiate monthly lectures at community centers and non-profit organizations to educate people about the threats of a sedentary lifestyle and help them develop a consistent regimen of regular exercise. Secondly, the community should be engaged in arranging weekly walking groups with instructors educating on the tracking of steps and heart rate. Governmental authorities and public-sector sponsors should participate in the construction of bicycle lanes and workout spots in parks to encourage exercise. Thirdly, marathons and group bicycle rides should be arranged to promote physical activity as pleasant and health-promoting leisure time. Finally, brochures and a social media page with regular postings should be prioritized as powerful educational tools.
Potential Public and Private Partnerships
The project provides a solid basis for forming functional partnerships between public and private organizations due to the interplay of community-based activities and infrastructure development to induce such activities. It is stated that “working together to meet Healthy People 2020 targets via a multidisciplinary approach is critical to increasing the levels of physical activity and improving health in the United States.” (Healthy People 2020, 2021, para. 3). Given such a guideline, the community-based program should entail a multidisciplinary approach that would engage multiple stakeholders to achieve the project’s goals. The engagement of non-profit organizations from the private sector in the arrangement of marathons, walking groups, and group bicycle rides will allow for allocating more resources to develop their work. Moreover, the cooperation between healthcare organizations and community centers will ensure the achievement of Healthy People 2020 goals for endured benefits.
Timeline for Expected Outcomes
The expected outcomes that should be achieved within the project implementation process are as follows:
- Month 1 – Engagement of community members in group meetings, lectures, and group activities;
- Month 2 – Active attendance of scheduled walking groups, bicycle rides, and marathons in the community;
- Month 3 – Engagement of families in community center-based physical group activities;
- Month 4 – Improved reported well-being of the community members;
- Month 5 – Growth in the population practicing exercises on a regular basis;
- Month 6 – A decrease in the proportion of adults without physical activity by 10 percent; An increase in the proportion of adults exercising 150 minutes per week by 10 percent.
Healthy People 2020. (2021). Physical activity. Web.
Makai, A., Füge, K., Breitenbach, Z., Betlehem, J., Ács, P., Lampek, K., & Figler, M. (2020). The effect of a community-based e-health program to promote the role of physical activity among healthy adults in Hungary. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 1-10. Web.
Margaritis, I., Houdart, S., El Ouadrhiri, Y., Bigard, X., Vuillemin, A., & Duché, P. (2020). How to deal with COVID-19 epidemic-related lockdown physical inactivity and sedentary increase in youth? Adaptation of Anses’ benchmarks. Archives of Public Health, 78, 1-6. Web.
Seguin, R. A., Paul, L., Folta, S. C., Nelson, M. E., Strogatz, D., Graham, M. L., Diffenderfer, A., Eldridge, G., & Parry, S. A. (2018). Strong hearts, healthy communities: A community-based randomized trial for rural women. Obesity, 26(5), 845–853.