Community-Based Wellness Center: Getting People to Move

Wednesday, 1 August 2012: 10:50 AM

Julia Pusztai, RN, BSN, MSN
Catherine Heinlein, EdD, RN, PHN, RD, CDE
Anna Marie Hefner, RN, MSN, MaEd, CPNP
School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe an incentive walking program to assist the clients of a community based wellness center to improve their health

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe methods to improve health and decrease health risk factors in a community setting.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to increase the physical activity in low income Hispanic men and women in a community center. With the increase in obesity rates, physical activity plays a central role in overall health and quality of life. It has been documented a weight loss of 5-10 percent of current weight will lower one’s risk of developing diseases associated with obesity.

Methods: This was a pilot descriptive study assisting clients to identify their weight issues, measure body mass index (BMI), set goals, and develop a plan for healthy eating and exercise in an underserved Hispanic neighborhood.  At the initial visit, each client was assessed for diabetic and cardiac risk factors identified through a series of health and behavior related questions, BMI, and waist circumference and encouraged to walk daily and participate in twice weekly walks led by wellness center team members.  Weekly weight and average number of steps were calculated. 

Results: Each client who encountered the Wellness Center was asked to participate in the 4 week program.   Eighty-two clients enrolled and 24 clients completed 4 weeks.  The average weight loss was 4.55 pounds or 0.97% of body weight.  Initial demographics: 92% Hispanic, average age of participants was 46 years 8 months (range 18-82 years), average weight was 168.08 pounds, average waist circumference was 37.39 inches and BMI was 30.23, average diabetic risk factor score:  8/18 and cardiovascular risk factor score:  1.69/6.The average steps for 4 weeks was 9771.

Conclusion: Providing a community atmosphere of support can increase the wellness of low-income Hispanic clients.  Anecdotal comments include, I have found an increase in my energy, an increase in quality of life, sleeping better, stopped smoking, and noticed clothes are fitting looser and differently.