Office of Health Disparities Research

Addressing Health Disparities is Our Priority.

December 10, 2014

Start Moving, Start Living – Affecting positive lifestyle changes in rural African-American Women in Ware County, Georgia

By OHDR Admin

Mary O'Connor, M.D.Mary I. O'Connor, M.D.

Consultant, Orthopedic Surgery
Rochester campus of Mayo Clinic






Tamara Huff, M.D.

Consultant, Orthopedic Surgery
Waycross, GA Affiliate of Mayo Clinic


Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross, Georgia, serves a largely rural area of southeast Georgia that includes Ware County and is approximately 29.5 percent African-American. African-Americans and women have a disproportionately high rate of knee pain and obesity. Lack of mobility promotes weight gain and the development of other chronic medical conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. We seek to demonstrate the effectiveness of a community-based group intervention in increasing physical activity among rural African-American women in Ware County with self-reported knee pain and functional limitations. Our study is an 8-week prospective, randomized control clinical trial with 80 African-American women (40 women in the intervention group and 40 in the control group) who all receive Fitbit activity tracking devices. The intervention group will participate in a weekly program of educational speakers, motivational interviewing with community-based councilors (champions), and structured physical activity. The control group will just receive the Fitbit. We hypothesize that our structured program will increase the amount of physical activity in the intervention group during the program and at 8 weeks and 12 weeks post-intervention.

Tags: African Americans, health disparities, knee pain, Mary O'Connor M.D., Mayo Clinic, obesity, pilot project 2015, positive lifestyle changes, project, Projects

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