Activity and Recreation in Communities for Health (ARCH)

Prinicipal Investigator: Brad Appelhans

Disparities in cardiometabolic disease and premature mortality can be traced to structural inequities that limit access to health care, increase exposure to detrimental social and physical conditions, and impede health-promoting behaviors. Additionally, individuals in under-resourced communities may encounter a variety of barriers to engaging in personally meaningful rewarding activities, including limited household finances for recreation, lack of transportation, or safety concerns. Emerging health behavior models delineate pathways through which a lack of rewarding experiences precipitates declines in both mental and physical health, leading to depression and cardiometabolic disease.
This project represents an initial evaluation of Activity and Recreation in Communities for Health (ARCH), a sustainably-designed health outreach intervention for under-resourced communities. ARCH draws from two contemporary models of health behavior, Behavioral Activation and Reinforcer Pathology, which jointly suggest that promoting and facilitating participation in rewarding recreational and social activities can directly reduce depressive symptoms, and enhance adherence to weight management and physical activity interventions.

Community Partner: Equal Hope