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Taking Action to Increase Physical Activity

In a truly interdisciplinary effort, Penn is working with the city of Philadelphia to increase physical activity in West Philadelphia through community and academic partnerships.

What began as an assemblage of truths, including inactivity being a contributor to obesity and type 2 diabetes, and that by increasing activity, the risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes decreases, resulted in an awareness through focus groups that youth and families are interested in sustainable and collaborative ways to improve physical activity and health.

With support from a grant and an all-star team, Taking Action to Increase Physical Activity: Community-Academic Partnerships was born. The team is comprised of representatives from the following organizations:

On April 19, these representatives as well as community health providers, community members and organizations focused on physical activity and health, hospital and healthcare system employees, K-12 educators, school nurses, and City government representatives came together to network, learn from one another, and foster partnerships to promote inter-generational activity in West Philadelphia. The learned about the barriers and facilitators to lifelong health and fitness, and worked in small groups to develop concrete action plans to be implemented in the community.

Conference participant, Adrianna Perez, PhD, ANP-BD, FAAN, said, “I was inspired by the presentations from Penn faculty, students and community partners, emphasizing the strengths and opportunities to promote physical activity in West Philadelphia.  This event provided a real life example of how science, academic-community partnerships, and intergenerational residents in our community, can generate solid and long-lasting health initiatives through multiple forms of physical movement.  Attending the conference and connecting with others has motivated me to get involved!”