• Journal Article

Physical activity levels among participants in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation diabetes initiative


Williams-Piehota, P. A., McCormack, L., Bann, C., O'Toole, M., Burton, J., Karns, S., ... Kamerow, D. (2009). Physical activity levels among participants in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation diabetes initiative. Diabetes Spectrum, 22(3), 170-177. DOI: 10.2337/diaspect.22.3.170


Objective. The purposes of this study were to describe physical activity habits of individuals with type 2 diabetes participating in a self-management initiative conducted in real-world settings that was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF); to assess changes in physical activity over time; and to identify factors associated with physical activity levels.

Research design and methods. Clinical and community-based programs participating in the RWJF-funded Diabetes Initiative implemented comprehensive models for self-management, including supports to increase physical activity. A cohort of 622 largely lower-income and ethnic minority program participants (72% female, 85% overweight or obese) completed telephone surveys assessing self-reported physical activity levels at two times that were about 8 months apart.

Results. Approximately 70% of participants who reported being inactive at Time 1 reported at least some physical activity at Time 2. Approximately 29% of participants who reported insufficient activity at Time 1 increased their activity enough to meet current public health guidelines at Time 2, whereas 28% of those who were sufficiently active no longer met the guidelines. Sufficient physical activity was associated with greater intervention intensity; being male, younger, and speaking English; and having greater self-efficacy, a lower BMI, and a health care provider who assisted in finding physical activity resources.

Conclusions. Personal, behavioral, and program factors were related to physical activity levels among participants in these comprehensive self-management programs.