Public health advocates have increasingly highlighted the importance of implementing
comprehensive physical activity interventions that use an ecologic framework. Such
a framework can broadly address physical activity barriers, such as the lack of opportunities,
social support, policies, built environments, and community awareness.
The Active Living by Design (ALbD) was a community grant program of the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation (RWJF), which was established to help 25 communities create environments
that support active living. Each funded site established a multidisciplinary community
partnership and implemented the 5P strategies: preparation, promotions, programs,
policy, and physical projects. The community partnerships worked within neighborhoods,
schools, worksites, and other organizations to increase physical and social supports
for physical activity. Ten community examples illustrate the 5Ps.
Throughout the 5-year grant, the ALbD national program office provided community partnerships
with group and individualized learning opportunities. Technical assistance and peer-to-peer
learning was facilitated by ALbD project officers, who also coached each community
partnership via site visits, regular phone calls, and electronic communications.
The ALbD grant program provided valuable lessons for communities, technical assistance
organizations, and funders. Community partnerships experienced success in a variety
of settings and their collaborative approaches encouraged multiple organizations,
including funders, to participate in improving conditions for active living. Strong
local leadership was a key to success and community partnerships benefited considerably
from peer-to-peer learning. The 5P model, while challenging to implement comprehensively,
proved to be a useful model for community change.