Community fitness Based Health Education Program


Communityfitness Based Health Education Program



Communityfitness based health education programs are important in ensuringgood public health. The goal of community based programs is toincrease the quality of life, availabilityand effectiveness. Inparticular, community based programs enhances and encourage publichealth wellness through creating awareness on chronic diseases,physical activity, obesity and nutrition, substance abuse and mentalillness among others. Community fitness based health programs arecomprehensive intervention plans that utilize multiple interventionstrategies such as policy, education and environmental approaches.However, some community fitness based education programs are‘targeted to particular group as part of increasing awareness,promoting healthy lifestyles and facilitating health relatedbehavioral changes. Before providing the built environment for theenvironment under analysis, it is vital to state the vitality ofphysical activity to people’s health and well-being.

Physicalactivity was described as the leading guideline for a healthy peoplein 2010 by the Healthy People magazine (Brownson, Hoehner, Day,Forsyth&amp Sallis, 2009). Different scientific studies prove theimportance of physical activity to human health. Even slight physicalactivity such as walking reduces the risk of some life threateningdiseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Physicalactivity also improves the psychological well-being of individualsand also reduces the chances of being over-weight or obese. Peoplewho engage in physical activity keep their calories accumulation atbalance with the energy they use for physical and metabolic processes(Brownson, Hoehner, Day and Forsyth and Sallis, 2009). To this end weassess community based health education program for Arthritispatients through Yoga activities.

Communityphysical environment assessment

Thearea under assessment is a town of about 150,000 people. The area’sbuilt environment is fit for physical activity for people of allages. The area has several aspects that allow people to engage invarious types of physical activity ranging from accommodativetransportation networks such as walking paths and sidewalks. It alsohas community parks where children and adults can have refreshingmoments by jogging round the pitches on the west side of the town,fitness clubs, and recreations facilities where people pay a minimalmaintenance fee to participate in undemanding physical activity.

Thetransportation systems of the area

Onehas to take a walk in the town to see the physical infrastructure inthe area. The transportation systems are mapped in terms of thephysical infrastructure that carries traffic such as streets and raillines for mass transit on the eastern side of the town. The westernside of the town is area of interest because it is mapped with thetotality of networks for use by individual each mode, such as thebicycle. The planners of the city created a lot of space forpedestrians. From the west side stretching into the central businessdistrict, the town has numerous sidewalks within the park boundaries,and biking and hiking trails. Thus, there are enough paved systemsdesigned for use by pedestrians, bicyclists, rollerblades and otherphysical activity that need smooth grounds.

Thestreet off-street networks in the town

Thereare several specialized infrastructure for non-motorized modes oftransportation and other form so recreational physical activity. Evenoff-street areas adjacent to the town have pathways and sidewalknetworks for bicycles, shared facilities that accommodate multipleusers. The pathways and sidewalks provide linkages to the inner cityand in-town destinations. The local government has a transpirationpolicy that seeks to make alternative modes of travel easy, safe andaccessible to all people (Brownson,Hoehner, Day and Forsyth and Sallis, 2009).

Fitnessclubs and recreational facilities

Thereare also other public and private facilities in the town sponsored bythe local government as part of the entire program to supportphysical activity. There are also non-profit organizations thatprovide physical activity sessions to people of all walks as long asthey make a monthly semi-annual subscription. The town has aboutfifteen dance studios, five health clubs, and a non-profit martialarts organization. Towards the exit of the city on the westerncorridor, the town has swimming clubs and sports centers wheremembers take part in various training activities and leisure sportsover the weekends and holidays. There are also faith-basedorganizations such as the Methodist church located outside the towncenter that have physical activity facilities and programs in oneplace for their members. The facilities and programs are alsoavailable to others in the community.

Thelocal government has done a commendable to ensure that there arefacilities for physical activity. However, there should more emphasison regularly scheduled class for school-going children who have agreater risk of being obese of overweight. The authorities andnon-governmental organizations should also include seminars oncalisthenics, jogging, alcohol abuse, smoking, and stress management(Handy, Boarnet, Ewing, &amp Killingsworth, 2002). Program benefitsincludes savings in major medical costs, a reduction in the averagenumber of disability days and a reduction in the number of directdisability costs. These programs aim at complementing the effortsalready made in equipping the town with facilities for physicalactivity. The efforts of the local government and other organizationsneed complementary community outreach efforts that would encouragepeople of all ages to engage in physical activity.

Theoreticalfoundations and Program components (Yoga)

Yogais a historical system of exercises, relaxation and healing in India.Yoga is part of the Pilate methods that provides the human body withbalanced body fitness, muscle flexibility, strength and bodyawareness. Yoga is perceived to be a holistic technique of promotinggood health. Yoga exercises increases muscle strength, flexibilityand stamina as well as providing individuals with feelings ofwellbeing and self-awareness (Middleton et al, 2013). In this way,Yoga brings the body and mind together through breathing, exercisesand meditation. Yoga exercises can be practiced anywhere and noskills or special equipment is needed. Yoga exercises are gentle tojoints and can be modified to fit the physical needs of every person.Yoga excises depend on gravity and body resistance to enhancephysical activities (Kirk, 2013).

Recentresearch on Yoga has found that the exercise is important innormalizing blood pressure and as antidote to stress(Lee,2014). The health benefits of Yoga are many. In particular, Yoga isimportant in preventing cardiovascular related problems by improvingcardiovascular fitness and normalizing blood pressure (Handy,Boarnet, Ewing and Killingworth, 2002). In addition, Yoga helps inimproving blood circulation in the stomach thereby enhancingdigestion. Yoga is effective in improving the musculoskeletal and thenervous system (Lee, 2014).

Arthritisis a significant disabling disease for most elderly people in the21stcentury. Currently, approximately 40million Americans suffer fromArthritis and the number is expected to rise to 60 million bymid-21stcentury (Middleton et al, 2013). Elderly women are the most affectedgroup by Arthritis. Most elderly women suffer from Osteoarthritis.Arthritis is closely associated with deformed limbs, joint pain,swellings and stiffness. These conditions have significant effects onone’s ability to undertake normal daily activities (Middleton etal, 2013).

Modificationsof Yoga Necessary for this Group

Inthis case, Yoga is effective in alleviating pain and facilitatingblood flow in the swelled joints. Arthritis reduces mobility injoints due to wearing out of cartilage and swellings. Yoga isimportant especially for the arthritis patients to enhance fluidmovements in joints (IDEA, 2015). Yoga for the elderly womensuffering from arthritis should encourage on movements that allowsfor flexion and extensions (the child pose), increases space betweenjoints (angle pose) and strengthening ligaments and tissues (Lee,2014). Arthritis is a painful disease and requires a fitnessprofessional who is able to offer corrections, cues for adjustmentsand allow the patients find their ideal postures (IDEA, 2015). Yogafor Arthritis patients should be performed in the afternoons when thestiff joints are loosened.

Theobjectives of Yoga in managing Arthritis condition

Theaim of using Yoga as an intervention measure for elderly womensuffering from Arthritis is to alleviate chronic pain associated witharthritis condition. Yoga helps in reducing pain and contractions insome parts of the body (IDEA, 2015). Yoga helps elderly women withArthritis to contract their muscles during exercises this helps inreducing pain. However, contractions movements compromise breathingbut helps in enhancing joint mobility (IDEA, 2015). During the Yogaexcises, patients should be allowed to listen to their bodies so thatthey can what is best for them. Assessing one’s bodyfeelings during Yoga exercises is the most important thing for Yogapractice. Elderly patients should avoid poses that cause strains intheir joints.

Equipmentrequired for Yoga activities

Yogaexercises do not require any special equipment during practice.However, basic equipment such as mat, chair, towel, Yoga leggings andshorts are required to facilitate Yoga exercises. Yoga exercises arebest done while bare foot.

Componentsof Yoga

Childpose In Yoga, the child pose constitutes a sequence of bodymovements done while at rest position. In this case only a Yoga matis required (Lee, 2014). The sequence of movements improves mobilityon the hips, shoulders and knees by stimulating the joints naturallubricants and easing joints friction. The child pose assists inlengthening the spinal cord thereby assisting the elderly women withvertebrae. The Yoga mat is used to reduce pressure on the kneesduring the excises (IDEA, 2015).

Warriorposes this component of Yoga requires the directions of aninstructor to control the patients’ extent of stretch(Kirk,2013). Warrior pose is aimed at enhancing knee mobility while alsostrengthening the thighs and the hips. Warrior pose movements help inreleasing pressure from joints affected by arthritis (Lee, 2014).This part of Yoga requires deep breathing and the participants shouldbe prepared for this cause. In warrior pose, the required equipmentis a Yoga mat.

Shoulderstretch movements in this case participants requires a chair. Theparticipant engages in sequence movements that are aimed at enhancingneck, shoulders, wrists, elbow and fingers mobility (IDEA, 2015). Theparticipants move these joints through varying motions. The shoulderstretch movements are one of the most effective physical activitiesfor elderly women suffering from arthritis (Lee, 2014).

Acommunity education component regarding the benefits of physicalactivity and how the program can be used to satisfy the FIT conceptfor each segment of the population

Yogais a physical activity that is beneficial to all segment ofpopulation. In particular, physical exercises are heralded as analternative medicine in treating various health conditions such asobesity and cardiovascular diseases (IDEA, 2015). As such, Yogashould be made part of community health education awareness.Physically active individuals are healthier and live happier longlives. Arthritis leads to physical inability and this makes it is ahealth risk to individuals of all ages especially due to Type IIdiabetes, cardiovascular and osteoporosis. In the case of arthritis,weak muscles, stiff joints and poor balance are made worse byinactivity (Kirk, 2013).

Physicalactivities are therapeutic exercise that helps address the arthriticproblems especially on affected joints. Research shows that everyonewith arthritic condition should participate in physical activities.Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) benefit from moderate andweight nearing activities (Kirk, 2013). Physical activities are alsoassociated with less bone loss and damage on cartilages especiallyfor RA cases with less pain. For individuals with Osteoarthritis(OA), research indicates that a combination of aerobic andstrengthening exercises help in reducing symptoms, improving jointmotion and functions. Other benefits for physical activity onindividuals with various types of arthritis include strong thighmuscles, improved cartilage and great reduction in disability (IDEA,2015).

Asocial marketing concept

Mostpeople practice Yoga in one form or the other without knowing. Someassociate Yoga with religious underpinnings and this inhibit themfrom taking Yoga classes. As such, awareness should be created acrossthe community that Yoga is a physical exercise activity devoid ofreligious ties. In order to promote Yoga as an important physicalactivity in the community, the best approach is setting communityYoga center. These community Yoga centers would serve as classeswhere Yoga lessons are taught to all members of the community with aparticular focus on arthritis patients. The classes should be open toall individuals who want to learn (Kirk, 2013).

Thetraining centers should have different classes for differentindividuals based on needs and level of learning. In order to marketthese lessons across the community, participants would be requestedto inform others or adverts placed on the local media as well asonline platforms (Handy, Boarnet, Ewing and Killingworth, 2002).However, in order to enhance the sustainability of the Yoga classes,it would be necessary to recommend members make donations. The Yogaclasses would also serves as community health education lessons onthe importance of physical activities as an alternative treatment toarthritis, cardiovascular, obesity and diabetes conditions (Kirk,2013). Yoga would be successfully marketed across the communitythrough public awareness information in local schools, health centersand churches.

Stakeholderand community partners’ information

Communitybased health education programs are best implemented through thegovernment, local charity organizations, health centers, communityleaders and religious institutions. These individuals andinstitutions are important stakeholders that have significantinfluence in facilitating community health education programs. Assuch, collaboration with all stakeholders is an integral aspect thatwould have significant influences on community member’sparticipation in Yoga activities. Local leaders and government mayprovide resources such as a hall where Yoga activities take place(Kirk, 2013). Other partners such as health centers, Schools andreligious institutions would facilitate with training on physicalactivities education.

Strategiesfor program implementation, monitoring, evaluation

Thegoal of this program is to facility community awareness andparticipation in physical activities for the benefit of the Arthritispatients through Yoga exercises (Kirk, 2013). The implementation planis also aimed at increasing physical activity for all segments in theAmerican population. This Yoga physical activities plan will be aproduct of the private-public sector collaborative plan. The Yogaplan is also aimed at creating a national culture that supportsphysically active lifestyles for the benefit of the public health,prevent diseases, disability and enhance quality of life forArthritis patients (Handy, Boarnet, Ewing and Killingworth, 2002).The program will be implemented, monitored and evaluated through fivesocietal sectors. These are the public health, healthcare, education,recreation and mass media. Committee made of participants fromvarious organizations will be incorporate into the plan.


Initiategrassroots advocacy to mobilize the community for physical educationon Yoga activities. This should target the individuals withArthritic, diabetic and obesity conditions (Kirk, 2013).


Acommunity physical education program would be launched to educateAmericans on the effectiveness of behavioral changes towardsparticipation in physical activities. The physical education programwould be integrated with other national health promotion programssuch as obesity, cardiovascular, arthritis and diabetes diesesprevention campaigns (Middleton,Ward, Haaz and Velummylum, 2013).


Bestpractice physical models and programs of Yoga would be disseminatedacross the local community through the established Yoga trainingcenters.


Establishcenters for Yoga activities and training across the community inrecreational grounds, halls, schools, health centers and localchurches. These centers will be equipped with Yoga skilled trainers.These centers will also serve as points of community mobilizationespecially for arthritic people.


Distributeresources and equipment necessary for training and performing Yogaactivities in all centers. This would include resources foraddressing the burden caused by inactivity due to disease. In thiscase, local partners would be included in planning for financialsupport to ensure program sustainability.


Maintain,create and facilitate partnerships with local public healthrepresentatives, recreation officers, fitness, sports, business, themedia, charity organizations and faith based communities. Thesepartnerships will enhance community mobilization, monitoring andevaluation of the Yoga activities program.


Monitoringpolicy would be expanded to assess the environmental determinants andlevel of physical activities required by the community members. Theoverall program would be monitored and evaluated along the impactcreated in promoting active lifestyles and behavioral changes.


Physicalactivities are important in facilitating healthy community practicesin preventing diseases and improving the quality of life among allsegments of community population. However, there are salient ethicalconsiderations that must be considered before an effective communityfitness based health education program can be implemented(Middleton,Ward, Haaz and Velummylum, 2013). Ethical consideration requiredwhile assessing community fitness capacity for Yoga include socialcultural aspects of the community, religious beliefs, individualphysical, psychological and mental fitness (Kirk, 2013).

Nearlyall cultures and religions support body fitness and this would not bea major ethical issue while promoting Yoga as a community physicalhealth education program. However, individuals’ physical,psychological and mental fitness are significant while assessingparticipants’ involvement (Handy,Boarnet, Ewing and Killingworth, 2002). Individuals with severephysical, mental or psychological conditions would not be encouragedto participate in Yoga activities. Yoga is well learned and practicedby individuals with stable mind. In order to ensure effective Yogaexercises, participants would be required to wear legged pants andwell-fitting shirts. Participation in the Yoga lessons would beguided by rules that prohibit any irresponsible behaviors especiallywhere young people are involved. The Yoga classes would maintainprofessional code of conduct during and after training sessions.


Thegoal of the community fitness program is to facility communityawareness and participation in physical activities for the benefit ofthe Arthritis people through Yoga exercises. Yoga is a physicalactivity that is beneficial to all segment of population. Inparticular, physical exercises are an alternative medicine fortreating various health co0njditions such as Arthritis obesity andcardiovascular diseases. As such, Yoga is important for communityhealth education in promoting healthier and happier communities.Arthritis leads to physical inability and this makes it a health riskto individuals of all ages. Arthritis results in weak muscles, stiffjoints and poor body balance due to inactivity.

Physicalactivities such as Yoga exercises are therapeutic and help inaddressing arthritic problems especially in affected joints. Researchshows that everyone with arthritic condition should participate inphysical activities. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)benefit from moderate and weight nearing activities. Physicalactivities are also associated with less bone loss and damage oncartilages especially for RA cases with less pain. Ethicalconsideration required while assessing community fitness capacity forYoga is social cultural aspects of the community, religious beliefs,individual physical, psychological and mental fitness


Peopleof all ages can benefit from these facilities if the government andother concerned parties facilitate community outreach programs toimprove access. Community outreach interventions should targetschools, work sites, recreation facilities and other locations in thecommunity. These recommendations are cognizant of the fact that youngchildren and the elderly can engage in physical activity if theyencouraged to do so. Community outreach efforts are ideal intargeting children and the elderly. The idea of outreach and accessto some of these facilities is complementary because it is necessaryfor people of all ages to have places of physical activity that areconvenient, attractive, and safe (Frank, Engelke &amp Schmid, 2003).


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Handy,S. L., Boarnet, M. G., Ewing, R &amp Killingworth, R. E. (2002).“How the built environment affects physical activity: views fromurban planning.” Americanjournal of preventive medicine,23(2),64-73.

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Kirk,M. (2013). “3 Safe Stretch Rules.” YogaInternational Journal.Retrieved from:

Lee,C. (2014). “Yoga 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Practice, Meditation,and the Sutras.” YogaJournal.Retrieved from:

Middleton,K. R., Ward, M.M, Haaz, S., 5 Velummylum, S. (2013). “Pilot Studyof Yoga as Self-Care for Arthritis in Minority Communities.” HealthQuality Life OutcomesV.11