African-American Women's Long-term Maintenance of Physical Activity Following a Randomized Controlled Trial

Am J Health Behav. 2017 Jul 1;41(4):484-496. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.41.4.13.


Objectives: Our purpose was to determine long-term maintenance of physical activity (PA) following the 48-week Women's Lifestyle PA program, targeted/tailored for African-American women.

Methods: The parent study consisted of a 3-arm randomized clinical trial with 3 assessment points: baseline (pre-intervention); 24 weeks post-baseline (end active intervention); and 48 weeks post-baseline (end maintenance intervention). Present analyses supplement the original results by adding a long-term maintenance assessment that occurred 2 to 4 years post-baseline. Participants were 288 African-American women aged 40 to 65 without major signs/symptoms of pulmonary/cardiovascular disease. The active intervention included 5 group meetings, with 9 personal motivational calls, 9 automated motivational calls, or no calls between meetings. The maintenance intervention included one group meeting and either 2 calls or no calls. PA was assessed with the Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors.

Results: Retention was 90%. Over long-term maintenance, there was a decline in PA, but levels remained significantly higher than baseline for moderate/vigorous PA (p < .001), leisure moderate/vigorous PA (p < .001) and walking (p = .006). Variations by condition/site were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that long-term maintenance of PA increases resulting from group meetings in an active intervention occur when followed by a maintenance intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Black or African American / ethnology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior / physiology*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Healthy Lifestyle / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Telephone
  • Time Factors