Physical activity interventions need to address the specific needs of sedentary individuals, according to a top researcher. Lynda Ransdell, PhD, recognized for her research in women's physical activity programs, teams with several peers on the new book, Developing Effective Physical Activity Programs (Human Kinetics, 2009), which rebuffs the one-size-fits-all approach to physical activity interventions. In the text, Ransdell's team provides evidence-based recommendations for designing, implementing, and evaluating more effective and appropriate physical activity interventions for women, overweight and obese populations, older adults, and ethnically diverse populations.

"Understanding how to work with specific populations is of utmost importance to the success of physical activity interventions," stresses Ransdell. "Program designers must consider the social characteristics, barriers to physical activity, and cultural relevancy of each population. Strategies for recruitment and retention of participants, the location of the intervention, and how the intervention is delivered must be in line with the culture of the population."

The book includes summaries of current research studies examining physical activity interventions in various populations and settings. Key considerations are discussed for each population, including the elements that make up the most successful interventions, unique barriers, and techniques for overcoming those barriers. Helpful tables summarize the barriers and solutions for each group, providing quick reference for designing programs.

Developing Effective Physical Activity Programs also examines how environment, setting, and use of technology can influence intervention planning. Readers will learn the way in which neighborhood and community design can affect a person's physical activity levels. The text also considers the various settings in which a program can be held, including homes, churches, and worksites, and how those will affect a program. This section also shows how technology, such as Web- and phone-based interventions and podcasts, can be used to expand the reach of a program and positively influence the physical activity levels of participants.

This book is part of the Physical Activity Intervention series, which provides educational resources for professionals interested in promoting and implementing physical activity programs to a diverse and often resistant population.

For more information on Developing Effective Physical Activity Programs, or the Physical Activity Intervention series, visit or call 800.747.4457.