Walk With Ease

Arthritis Foundation

Overview

Walk With Ease is a direct education program that is designed to promote education about successful physical activity for people with arthritis, arthritis self-management and walking safely and comfortably. Walk With Ease also encourages participants to continue their walking program and explore other exercise and self-management programs that deliver proven benefits for people with arthritis. Walk With Ease can be done by individuals using the Walk With Ease guidebook on their own or by groups led by trained leaders. While walking is the central activity, Walk With Ease is a multi-component program that also includes health education, stretching and strengthening exercises, and motivational strategies.

Target Behavior: Physical Activity

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Intervention Reach and Adoption

Walk With Ease targets adults with arthritis or other chronic diseases who want to be more physically active. The Walk With Ease program can be implemented in low income neighborhoods in different settings, such as churches, retirement communities, nursing homes, worksite (low-wage companies), and others.

Setting: Community, Worksite

Age: Adults, Older Adults

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

Walk With Ease includes health education information, walking (10-35 minutes walking duration), stretching and strengthening exercises and motivational tips and tools. These components provide education to promote successful physical activity, self-management skills, continuation of adoption of walking program and exploration of other physical activities. Both individual and group formats are set up as a structured six-week program.

Intervention Materials

The Walk With Ease Online Tools provide a contract, starting and ending point self-tests and walking resources in an interactive format. Online tools safely keep user’s information in one place, compare starting and ending point tests, and more. Walk With Ease Kits come equipped with all the resources and accessories that the users need to start and maintain a safe and fun walking routine.

Evidence Summary

Walk With Ease has used a quasi-experimental study design with 462 individuals from 31 rural and urban communities to evaluate the program. Results show that both the self- directed and group formats were safe and effective. Program participants experienced decreased disability; improvements in levels of pain, fatigue, stiffness and self- confidence; and better perceived control over arthritis, balance, strength and walking pace.

Additional information can be found in the following publications:

  • Altpeter M, Schoster B, Meier A, Callahan LF. The Nuts and Bolts of Program Adaptation: Our formative evaluation of the Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease program. Journal of Applied Gerontology (under review).
  • Schoster B, Altpeter M, Meier A, Callahan LF. Methodological tips for overcoming formative evaluation challenges: the case of the Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease program. Health Promot Pract. 2012;13(2):198-203.
  • Callahan LF, Shreffler JH, Altpeter M, et al. Evaluation of group and self-directed formats of the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease Program. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011;63(8):1098-1107.
  • Altpeter M, Houenou LO, Martin KR, Schoster B, Callahan LF. Recruiting and retaining hard-to-reach populations: lessons learned and targeted strategies from arthritis physical activity intervention studies. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011;63(7):927-928.
  • Nyrop KA, Charnock BL, Martin KR, Lias J, Altpeter M, Callahan LF. Effect of a six-week walking program on work place activity limitations among adults with arthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011;63(12):1773-1776.
  • Altpeter M, Callahan LF, Schoster B, Meier A, Buysse K. Applying the RE-AIM framework to a formative evaluation of the Walk with Ease (WWE) program for people with arthritis. 2nd International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health, April 13-16, 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Classification: Research-tested

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST3 MT3 LT3 R7
Environmental Settings
Sectors of Influence

 

Evaluation Materials

Currently, no evaluation tools or materials are available.

Additional Information

Website: The Walk With Ease website (http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/tools-resources/walk-with-ease/) includes a program overview, resources, tools, a mobile app, and video instructions for starting the program. Materials are for purchase and the site offers sneak peeks inside the tools.

Contact Person:
Nick Turkas (Director, Consumer Support)
Arthritis Foundation
Email: nturkas@arthritis.org
Phone: (704) 705-1801