MIPARC – Multilevel Intervention for Physical Activity in Retirement Communities

MIPARC is a 4-year study, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, designed to improve physical activity levels in older adults. Older adults are the least active segment of society, placing them at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and other health problems. Sedentary residents in 16 continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) will receive either the MIPARC intervention or a control health education program for 6 months. MIPARC aims to increase light to moderate physical activity primarily by increasing participants’ daily step counts, with a secondary focus on improving strength and flexibility, and reducing sedentary behaviors.  The effect of the intervention on participants’ blood pressure, physical functioning and quality of life will also be assessed.  A novel component of this study is the training of peer mentors to advocate for policy changes to the retirement community and/or surrounding neighborhood that promote physical activity. Participants will be followed for 12 months. It is hypothesized that using a multilevel approach will help sustain a supportive environment for physical activity and help participants maintain their increased physical activity levels.

The MIPARC intervention is based upon the ecological model and intervenes on four levels:

  1. Individual: pedometer-based self-monitoring, educational materials, and monthly counseling calls
  2. Interpersonal: monthly group sessions and peer mentoring
  3. Environmental: walking signage prompts, tailored walking maps, step counts, and physical activity resource enumeration
  4. Policies: review of on-site physical activity opportunities and walkability, recommendations for change, and peer-led advocacy



Principal Investigator: Jacqueline Kerr, PhD
Co-Investigators: Kevin Patrick, MD, MS, Dilip Jeste, MD, Simon Marshall, PhD, Jim Sallis, PhD, Shahrokh Golshan, PhD
Consultants: Dori Rosenberg, PhD, David Buchner, PhD, Abby King, PhD, Cynthia Castro, PhD, WALK San Diego, Health Policy Consulting Group
Project Coordinator: Katie Crist, MPH