Poster Session
Issue Date: August 2016
Published Online: August 01, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
Community-Based Programming Promoting Physical Activity
Author Affiliations
  • Independent Consultant
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Eastern Kentucky University
Article Information
Health and Wellness / Obesity / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Health Services Research and Education
Poster Session   |   August 01, 2016
Community-Based Programming Promoting Physical Activity
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011510206.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011510206.

Date Presented 4/8/2016

This program employed occupation-based methods to raise awareness of resources available in the community to support physical activity and empower parents to make healthier lifestyle choices in families’ daily occupations. Results suggest the value of local programming for health and wellness.

Primary Author and Speaker: Jennifer Hight

Additional Author and Speaker: Colleen Schneck, Shirley O’Brien

Contributing Author: Leslie Hardman

RESEARCH QUESTION: How do families identify movement activity in daily routines as a result of participation in a structured program in a community-based agency?
BACKGROUND: Childhood obesity rates contribute to rising health care costs while negatively affecting a child’s quality of life, and ability to engage in daily occupations (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2013). Currently one in eight preschoolers are obese, putting them at risk of being overweight or obese as adults (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). Obesity can be linked to many diseases (Kaprowy, 2012). Although many causal factors have been linked to childhood obesity, literature demonstrating effective interventions to decrease obesity in the pediatric population is limited; a scarcity of research in the occupational therapy literature addressing obesity prevention and health promotion exists.
This program employs occupation-based methods to support physical activity and empower parents of preschool-age children to make healthier lifestyle choices by incorporating movement into their family’s daily occupations, addressing the needs for preschoolers as related to Healthy People (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013) 2020’s Leading Health Indicator of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.
DESIGN: A pilot program using the phenomenological qualitative tradition was developed exploring the value of community collaboration to create health and wellness programming. The 4-mo community-based initiative was the result of a collaborative partnership between two agencies, incorporating parents’ perceptions of family-centered physical activity engagement. The program used the unique OT skill set to promote a healthier community by reducing physical inactivity through collaboration with early child care providers and families. An occupational therapist served as curricular consultant and created program outcome measures.
PARTICIPANTS: Convenience sample: 15 preschool-age children and parents
METHOD: Parent–child physical activity logs provided qualitative data.
ANALYSIS: Qualitative analysis to identify Parental Perceptions of Movement Activity logs assessing co-occupations such as play and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Coding, thematic assessment, audit trail, and member checking were utilized to promote validity and trustworthiness.
RESULTS: Participants identified types of movement activities they engaged in with their children. Co-occupations were noted primarily in activities of daily living (ADLs) and IADLs. Community resources and their sufficiency were identified.
DISCUSSION: The data suggest a relationship exists between a parent’s educational background and engagement in movement activities as a component of a daily routine. Parents reported engagement in physical activities with their child ≥3 times/wk. Perceptions varied about the availability of community resources used as a part of activity logs. A need for coaching and parent teaching about the value of movement supports Healthy People 2020 suggestions. OT has a unique role for contributions about establishing routines in daily life.
IMPACT STATEMENT: This research demonstrates the potential of OT to influence population health and wellness through community-based programming. It reinforces the values of occupational science through the use of occupational patterns and routines for health. OT has a role in coaching and consulting in the community.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Progress on childhood obesity. CDC Vital Signs. Retrieved from
Kaiser Family Foundation. (2013). U.S. healthcare costs. Retrieved from
Kaprowy, T. (2012). Child obesity in KY a deep rooted problem. Retrieved from
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2013). Healthy People 2020.