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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3343.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - Board 1

Abstract #107278

Harambee Health Hour: Building a Sense of Community to Encourage Active Lifestyles

Betty L. Kaiser, MS, RN1, Mary Elizabeth Bathum, MS, APRN, BC1, and Linda C. Baumann, PhD, RN, FAAN2. (1) School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 600 Highland Avenue K6/380, Madison, WI 53792-2455, 608-263-5315, blkaiser@wisc.edu, (2) University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Nursing, K6/342 Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53792

Physical activity promotes healthy body weight, reduces the risk of chronic disease, and increases psychological well-being. Despite the health benefits of physical activity, many Americans lead sedentary lives. Community health nurses serve as critical resources to help people adopt more active lifestyles. They recognize that establishing a norm of daily physical activity is a challenge for most Americans. The challenge is particularly high for people in low-income communities, where risk factors for chronic disease are highly prevalent, and resources for physical activity are scarce or inaccessible. The Harambee Health Hour is a free health education and exercise program offered at a community center that serves a low-income and ethnically diverse neighborhood. Led by a group of volunteers and community nurses, participants of all fitness levels attend a one-hour session that includes 30 minutes of moderate physical activity guided by an individual or a video-tape, followed by discussion of a healthy lifestyle topic. All informational sessions, materials, and exercise instruction are bilingual in Spanish and English. The program has been offered for two years, and a group of 10-15 men and women, both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking, attends regularly. We will describe the characteristics of the program that have contributed to its sustainability, including elements that build a sense of community.

Learning Objectives: The learner will be able to

Keywords: Physical Activity, Low-Income

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

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The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA