Online Program

Promoting Free and Low Cost Physical Activity For All

Monday, November 2, 2015

Elaine Lo, MPH, Family Health Services, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Jennifer Liu, Parks & Recreation Department, City of Foster City, Foster City, CA
Edith Cabuslay, MPH, Community Health Promotion Unit, San Mateo County Health System, Belmont, CA
Guillermo Vasquez, MSW, Family Health Services - Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention Unit, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA

When the recent economic recession caused public and private sectors to substantially reduce their budgets, many communities lost affordable public health programs and resources that benefited the public. Meanwhile, the focus on health and collaboration in San Mateo County (SMC) Board of Supervisor’s Shared Visions motivated agencies to collaborate to restore affordable programs and resources while working towards similar goals.


Healthcare agencies, Parks and Recreation, local government, and community members in SMC united as a collaborative to promote physical activity (PA) and improve its residents’ physical and mental health, and social connectedness. Its earliest efforts included streamlining free and low cost PA resources within SMC into one web-based database. It also hosted free evidence-based workshops (Go4Life®) on leading fitness for older adults. It is currently implementing a parks-based PA initiative that is interactive and cost-efficient.


Due to increased collaborations and awareness of affordable programs, the collaborative has seen cities and a Supervisor adopt and implement affordable PA initiatives and policies. Its website attracted approximately 134 users per month for PA resources. The Go4Life® workshops resulted in senior centers and community members leading fitness classes for older adults.


The county is considering using recent successful efforts to guide development of parks-based and recreations-based PA programs and policies. Not only do multiple agencies benefit from sharing costs and resources, residents benefit from improved physical and mental health, and connections with their local parks and communities.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify 2 factors that influence development of physical activity policies Identify at least 2 benefits of collaborating for physical activity promotion Discuss 2 advantages and disadvantages of developing parks-based and recreations-based health policies

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Chronic Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an employee of San Mateo County's Health System for two years and have regularly collaborated with the Active Access (AA) manager on programming and outreach. For the past year, I have been assisting in implementing AA's Passport to Parks campaign, a key initiative for 2015.
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.