Contextual Factors Influencing the Adoption of Physical Activity Direct Education and Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change Initiatives by Virginia EFNEP and SNAP-Ed Staff

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

Objective: To explore factors influencing the adoption of direct education programs and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change initiatives focused on physical activity for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-eligible audiences by Virginia Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) staff. Methods: Online survey with Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and SNAP-Ed peer (paraprofessional) educators (n = 28) and SNAP-Ed agents (master of science level) (n = 9) in Virginia. Descriptive statistics were computed for sociodemographic characteristics and responses to questions on the basis of Likert-type scales. Exploratory factor analyses were run to identify the underlying structures of the different variables. Results: The main factors for peer educators were related to substituting nutrition programs or content for physical activity programs. Other factors included staff qualifications and expectations about leading vs teaching physical activities. For PSEs, the top factors were the capacity to reach many community members, attract new partners and stakeholders, and personal interest in the PSE. Conclusions and Implications: The results provide insight into potential barriers and motivators for adopting physical activity education and PSEs within community-based initiatives and can be used to inform program planning and staff training. Additional research is warranted to examine other factors influencing the adoption and implementation of physical activity programs and PSEs.

EFNEP, SNAP-Ed, low income, physical activity, policy, systems, environment