Using a Community Workshop Model to Initiate Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change That Support Active Living in Indiana, 2014–2015
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Using a Community Workshop Model to Initiate Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change That Support Active Living in Indiana, 2014–2015

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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Engaging in regular physical activity reduces the likelihood of developing chronic diseases. A community’s rates of physical activity are directly connected to its built environment characteristics, which correspondingly affect the chronic disease prevalence of its population. Community planning and design interventions can increase levels of physical activity and reduce chronic disease rates by identifying and removing environmental and policy barriers that may hinder active living.

    Community Context

    Community stakeholder groups of various sizes and in various settings in Indiana are beginning to make changes to their policies, systems, and environments to increase levels of physical activity for residents.


    We conducted day-long active living workshops in cities and towns in Indiana to help organize and support public officials, community-based organizations, and advocates in their efforts to promote policy, system, and environmental (PSE) changes that lead to more active communities.


    We found that following a consistent process of holding a community workshop and then conducting ongoing follow-up activities led to PSE changes within 1 year. Communities that hosted active living workshops created identifiable changes by supporting active living goals through policy adoption, the creation of new advisory committees, and new local funding allocations.


    The collaborative approach in the workshop provides a successful model for communities to build capacity to implement PSE strategies that support active living. This method requires various community stakeholders to work closely together, using a shared approach to make changes that would be difficult to achieve if they were working independently.

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