242669 Inclusive Fitness Champions: Improving accessible physical activity options statewide

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:45 AM

Meg Ann Traci, PhD , Rural Institute, The University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Patricia Holman, BA , Rural Institute on Disabilities, The University of Montana, Missoula, MT
A statewide assessment of accessible physical activity options available in Montana fitness centers was conducted through a partnership with the Montana Disability and Health Program (MTDH), the Montana Nutrition and Physical Activity Program, the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD), and Montana Centers for Independent Living (CILs). Results directed activities to promote available options and to increase the number and quality of options. The present project aimed to expand the capacity of these partners to conduct such activities by involving qualified local fitness advocates as 'Inclusive Fitness Champions'. Efforts included: 1) Creating a database of fitness professionals through professional fitness certification organizations; 2) Coordinating a free one-day Certified Inclusive Fitness (CIFT) workshop with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and NCPAD that offered continuing education credits through professional organizations; 3) Recruiting and supporting workshop participants to travel to the workshop and to take the ACSM CIFT Exam; 4) Recruitment and training of workshop participants to serve as Inclusive Fitness Champions in their communities. Outcomes include a statewide network of champions (six CIFT certified fitness professionals in six counties representing Montana's five public health planning regions) conducting activities to promote and increase accessible physical activity options in the state (e.g., fitness center accessibility assessments, disability and fitness awareness trainings in partnership with CILs). Champions record their activities in an on-line tracking form and send evaluations of those activities to MTDH staff for compilation and analysis. Types of activities, evaluation results, and future directions will be presented and discussed.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess the need for accessible physical activity options for persons with disabilties. 2. Describe key strategies for increasing accessible physical activity options for persons with disabilities. Know three outcomes of the Inclusive Fitness Champions project.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Patty Holman recently completed her requirements for a Masters of Science degree in Health Promotion through the Health and Human Performance Department at The University of Montana and is completing her Certificate of Public Health from The University of Montana School of Public and Community Health Sciences. For her thesis titled, “An examination of elementary physical education teachers’ perceived self-efficacy toward teaching children with orthopedic impairments: Do teachers feel competent?”, Ms. Holman conducted a statewide assessment of adaptive physical education teacher preparation and training needs. Concurrently, she completed coursework towards earning a. Ms. Holman has over 25 years of combined experience working as a fitness trainer, physical educator and as university adjunct professor promoting, fitness and exercise in Montana. Currently, Ms. Holman is a the Montana Disability and Health Team member. MTDH is a partnership of The University of Montana Rural Institute and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.