Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Center for Excellence in Aging Services, Research Foundation of State University of New York

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

April 2010

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

January 1, 2008 – June 30, 2009


The Active Choices program is a telephone-assisted counseling program developed by the Stanford Prevention Research Center, which has been found to increase physical activity among older adults (ages 50 years and older).

Under the project, “Cost-effective Delivery of an Active Choices Health Promotion Program,” the Center for Excellence in Aging Services (the Center) at the Research Foundation of the State University of Albany implemented a volunteer-led Active Choices program for seniors in four New York State communities.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • It developed multi-media training materials, trained 15 coaches, and enrolled 500 participants.
  • It implemented the volunteer-led Active Choices program in four of six New York communities (Albany, Binghamton, Plattsburgh, and Saratoga).
  • Approximately 50%, or 250, of the participants completed the six-month program.
  • Physical activity among the participants increased from an average of 47 minutes per week to an average of 160 minutes (2.7 hours) per week—a statistically significant difference.
  • A majority of the individuals who completed the program reported exercising four or more days per week by the project’s end, suggesting that physical activity was becoming part of a regular routine.
  • Individuals who completed the program also reported at least one of the following benefits: improved flexibility and strength; less breathlessness; and better management of their chronic conditions.