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Center for Adolescent Health


Project Profiles

Johns Hopkins University

This project uses a mixed methods approach to analyze the policy environment for businesses in the Healthiest Maryland Businesses (HMB) program seeking to promote physical activity, walking in particular. Specifically, we seek to determine which policies HMB worksites are using to promote physical activity, describe the decision process used to select these policies, compare this process to the process used to select other health promotion policies (e.g., smoking cessation, nutrition, etc.), determine the facilitators and barriers related to effectively implementing these policies that promote physical activity, and identify potential policy successes.

University of Arizona

This project explores perceptions of walkability and barriers to active transportation in Tucson, Arizona’s Mexican American neighborhoods with specific aims of understanding 1) how policies and design strategies can be effectively implemented to increase rates of walking, perceptions of safety and comfort, and community support; 2) whether standard measures of walkability are appropriate in the socio-economic context of our study neighborhoods; and 3) the effectiveness of strategies for engaging disenfranchised communities in walkability related planning and policy interventions. 

University of Rochester

This project aims to implement a group medical visit to promote physical activity, delivered by primary care and community partners in a federally qualified health center in Rochester, NY. We plan to assess the effectiveness of the intervention on increasing frequency and duration of physical activity among underserved adults as well as improving cardio-respiratory fitness and biometric measurements. Additionally, we are looking at the role of policy determinants on mediating the intervention’s effectiveness and outcomes at the institutional, local and national levels.

University of Massachusetts Worcester

The project will first utilize an Expert Panel process to define roles, responsibilities and core competencies for local health officials in local built environment policy process, specifically transportation and land use. An online survey will then assess experience of local health officials in all 50 states in these areas, as well as training and technical assistance needs, to inform a future PAPRN+ study to develop and pilot test approaches aimed at improving physical activity/walking-related policy participation.

University of Illinois at Chicago

This project is examining the role that progressive-oriented zoning, land use, and Smart Growth policies may have in facilitating community walkability and adult walking behaviors. The project will involve an in-depth evaluation of the walkability-orientation of zoning, land use and SmartGrowth policies in 10 large and 10 small, southern jurisdictions in the U.S. and constructing corresponding measures of community walkability using GIS and Google Earth/Street View aerial photos to determine the level of policy implementation.