An overview of the "Positive Action for Today's Health" (PATH) trial for increasing walking in low income, ethnic minority communities

Dawn K. Wilson, Nevelyn N. Trumpeter, Sara M. St. George, Sandra M. Coulon, Sarah Griffin, M. Lee Van Horn, Hannah G. Lawman, Abe Wandersman, Brent Egan, Melinda Forthofer, Benjamin D. Goodlett, Heather Kitzman-Ulrich, Barney Gadson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Ethnic minorities and lower-income adults have among the highest rates of obesity and lowest levels of regular physical activity (PA). The Positive Action for Today's Health (PATH) trial compares three communities that are randomly assigned to different levels of an environmental intervention to improve safety and access for walking in low income communities. Design and setting: Three communities matched on census tract information (crime, PA, ethnic minorities, and income) were randomized to receive either: an intervention that combines a police-patrolled-walking program with social marketing strategies to promote PA, a police-patrolled-walking only intervention, or no-walking intervention (general health education only). Measures include PA (7-day accelerometer estimates), body composition, blood pressure, psychosocial measures, and perceptions of safety and access for PA at baseline, 6, 12, 18, and 24. months. Intervention: The police-patrolled walking plus social marketing intervention targets increasing safety (training community leaders as walking captains, hiring off-duty police officers to patrol the walking trail, and containing stray dogs), increasing access for PA (marking a walking route), and utilizes a social marketing campaign that targets psychosocial and environmental mediators for increasing PA. Main hypotheses/outcomes: It is hypothesized that the police-patrolled walking plus social marketing intervention will result in greater increases in moderate-to-vigorous PA as compared to the police-patrolled-walking only or the general health intervention after 12. months and that this effect will be maintained at 18 and 24. months. Conclusions: Implications of this community-based trial are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-633
Number of pages10
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethnic minorities
  • Perceptions of safety and access
  • Physical activity
  • Walking interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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