B-Active: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Healthy Aging


  • John Dattilo
  • Lynn Martire
  • David Proctor


Aging, leisure education, self-efficacy, physical activity, healthy aging


An interdisciplinary team has been developing and examining effects of Project B-Active (Be Active in the Community To Increase Vitality and Enjoyment) in response to the National Prevention Strategy which focuses on a wellness and prevention model and the NIH GO4Life campaign (NCCAM, 2011). The purpose of B-Active is to promote adherence to enjoyable physical activity for older adults who have a fear of falling. Adherence to enjoyable physical activity is important since it is associated with positive outcomes including increased fitness, strength, balance, flexibility, and self-efficacy. The project brings together expertise in: (a) therapeutic recreation associated with developing and evaluating leisure education interventions designed to be enjoyable and empowering, (b) human development associated with designing and evaluating group interventions for older adults using social facilitation strategies, and (c) kinesiology. All contributors of this collaboration are members of a Penn State Center for Healthy Aging. This paper highlights an evolving collaboration that has resulted in an innovative program associated with therapeutic recreation. Details about the program are provided.