Purpose One in five Yakama Indians over the age of 50 have diabetes. People with diabetes have increased risk of cardiovascular and renal complications, retinopathy, and neuropathy. Recent research has determined that modest weight loss and increased physical activity could reduce the incidence of diabetes by 58% and reverse pre-diabetes. A community project was designed to inform and encourage American Indians with diabetes or pre-diabetes by using educational signs placed around an exercise track during monthly Diabetes Fun Walks.
Methods Observation and assessment of a Diabetes Fun Walk determined that patients could benefit from the incorporation of educational and motivational materials into their walking experience. Collaboration with local health care workers, a literature search via PubMed, and on-line resources were used to develop sign content. Graphic design and sign construction focused on diabetes prevention and complications, exercise suggestions, and patient inspiration.
Conclusion Subsequent Diabetes Fun Walks occurred after leaving the community, preventing evaluation of sign effectiveness through observation. However, health care workers expressed high satisfaction with completed signs. Their feedback suggested that this creative project for disseminating information to motivated fun walk participants would empower walkers to construct healthier lives, leading to positive community change. Future analysis of project impact through questionnaire would be valuable.
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