MCHbest. NPM 8: Physical Activity
Strategy. Individual Counseling by Health Professionals
Approach. Promote physical activity counseling during well-child visits.
Overview. Patient-centered, individual face-to-face counseling seems to be effective in positively influencing physical activity levels.1,2
Evidence. Moderate Evidence. Individual counseling by health professionals, including the use of physical activity prescriptions have shown to be effective. This strategy has been tested more than once and results trend positive overall. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. Access additional peer-reviewed evidence through the Cochrane Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).
Target Audience. Children and adolescents.
Outcome. Increased level of physical activity. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, Access the peer-reviewed evidence and read the "Intervention Results" for each study.
Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of current ESMs across all states/jurisdictions that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy through the MCH Digital Library. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM.
The Virgin Islands are partnering with their Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC's) to increase physical activity counseling during the well child visits.
The Role of Title V. Title V agencies can support health provider counseing efforts in several ways:
- Engaging in community partnerships to increase physical activity counseling in health or other community program visits (e.g. home visiting).
- Develop and disseminate educational or outreach materials to health providers and families talking about the importance of physical activity counseling and supports.
- Work with the public health workforce to increase physical activity counseling as part of standard practice.
For suggestions on how to develop programs to support this strategy, see The Role of Title V in Adapting Strategies.
Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Promote physical activity counseling during well-child visits,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework:
Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).
1 Videira-Silva, A., & Fonseca, H. (2017). The effect of a physical activity consultation on body mass index z-score of overweight adolescents: results from a pediatric outpatient obesity clinic. European journal of pediatrics, 176(5), 655-660
2 Proper, K. I., Hildebrandt, V. H., Van der Beek, A. J., Twisk, J. W., & Van Mechelen, W. (2003). Effect of individual counseling on physical activity fitness and health: a randomized controlled trial in a workplace setting. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 24(3), 218-226.