Implementing Evidence-Based Exercise Prescription Services in the Community

Emily Knight, Robert J Petrella


Background: Research interventions using the Step Test and Exercise Prescription (STEP) tool have demonstrated beneficial effects on aerobic fitness, exercise compliance, exercise self-efficacy, and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Purpose: In an effort to translate research findings into practice, the purpose of this project was to assess feasibility of providing a complimentary fitness assessment and exercise prescription service in a community location. Methods: To participate, adults (18-85 years) were required to complete a health-screening questionnaire to help ensure safe participation. Feasibility data and service provider field notes were collected. Results: The service was provided over a 10-week period. 103 adults were interested in the service, and 80 completed STEP. No adverse events occurred. Field notes indicate that formal promotion of the service, and endorsement by health professionals on-site may help to further enhance uptake. Conclusion: Providing community-based fitness assessment and exercise prescription services may contribute to increased access to evidence-informed health promotion. It is feasible to deliver an evidence-based intervention (STEP) in the community. Building on experiences from this project, the service is ongoing with industry sponsorship. This is an example of implementing research in the design of evidence-informed community programming, and outcomes of this project support the translation of research into practice.


Knowledge translation; evidence-based program; feasibility; fitness assessment; exercise prescription; community-based health promotion

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ISSN: 19206216