The Results of the “Positive Action for Today’s Health” (PATH) Trial for Increasing Walking and Physical Activity in Underserved African-American Communities

BACKGROUND: The “Positive Action for Today's Health” (PATH) trial tested an environmental intervention to increase walking in underserved communities. METHODS: Three matched communities were randomized to a police-patrolled walking plus social marketing, a police-patrolled walking-only, or a no-walking intervention. The 24-month intervention addressed safety and access for physical activity (PA) and utilized social marketing to enhance environmental supports for PA. African-Americans (N=434; 62% females; aged 51+/-16 years) provided accelerometry and psychosocial measures at baseline and 12, 18, and 24 months. Walking attendance and trail use were obtained over 24 months. RESULTS: There were no significant differences across communities over 24 months for moderate-to-vigorous PA. Walking attendance in the social marketing community showed an increase from 40 to 400 walkers per month at 9 months and sustained ~200 walkers per month through 24 months. No change in attendance was observed in the walking-only community. CONCLUSIONS: Findings support integrating social marketing strategies to increase walking in underserved African-Americans ( #NCT01025726).