Closing Health Disparities by Changing Lifestyle Behavior
African American, American Indian
and Hispanic ethnic and racial groups are disadvantaged relative to whites on most health indices, according to the National
Institutes of Health. African Americans are at higher risk for the most, if not all of the leading causes of health-related
deaths in the United States, compared to White Americans. Risk factors, and overall quality of life may
each be affected by aspects such as race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, age, education, occupation, and other lifestyle
differences such as nutrition and lack of physical activity. The goal of this proposal is to implement
a “Healthy Lifestyle Challenge” that will improve health among students, faculty and staff at North Carolina A&T
State University. Specific objectives of this project are to: (1) Promote increase in physical activity among
program participants, (2) Promote healthy nutritional behavior among program participants, (3) Provide educational awareness
of healthy lifestyles to all interested A&T students, faculty and staff,(4)
Evaluate effectiveness of program activities and (5) Use this pilot study as leverage to expand the healthy lifestyle initiative through external grant
support and collaboration.
The program participants will have access to the following resources to promote change:
Educational modules covering current knowledge on nutrition, physical activity and health disparities will
be placed on the Healthy Lifestyles Challenge Website. Participants will be asked to complete pre- and post- test on
the information covered in the modules. The anonymity of the participants will be protected as the pre- and post-test
will have no identifiers on them accept for the assigned code numbers which will be needed for data analysis.
Walking is the primary exercise that participants will be encouraged to increase over their normal activity.
Each participant will be given a pedometer and a notebook to measure and keep track of the number of steps taken during their
walking exercises. On a weekly basis, they will report the number of steps recorded on the pedometer to a designated website
along with their code number. Project data collectors who will enter the data on a spreadsheet that has no identifiers indicated.
Group activities (dance, aerobics, group walks) will be planned and offered as additional exercises to
keep participants engaged. The physical activity a participant gains from a group exercises will be converted to step
equivalents and added to the number of steps indicated by the individual’s pedometer. Benchmark awards will be given
each time a participant reaches a designated number of steps within a month.
Healthy Lifestyle Challenge Website
This website will have a home page with password access and links to the following:
1. The Surgeon Generals Report
on Health Disparities
2. Educational Modules with
Pre- and Post-test
3. A Spreadsheet of self-reported
step numbers, measurements and code number, benchmark achievements.
4. A page for self-reporting
by a code number