The prevalence of physical inactivity has been recognized as a risk factor for multiple chronic disease conditions in both adults and children. Recently efforts to increase healthy behaviors have been promoted through religious groups (Ken Resnicow et al., 2002). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has a unique program called Family Home Evening (FHE) that could be used to teach and potentially improve physical activity. Six FHE lessons were designed to be taught in 6 consecutive weeks within a family environment. A total of 84 families (parents and children) were recruited for participation. Participating families were randomized into either the control or intervention group. All family members were given pedometers to be worn one week prior to, and one week after the 6-week intervention. The intervention group FHE lessons covered physical activity promoting topics, and the control group was given traditional religious topics for their FHE lessons. ANOVA indicated that in children there was an increase in daily steps in the intervention group (12482.8 SD=4455.3) compared to the control group (11255.4 SD=4048.9), which was statistically significant (F (1,85) = 3.93, p=.05). In adults there was an increase in steps in the intervention group from pre to posttest of 8823.5 (SD=3858.3) to 9947.4 (SD=4222.8) this difference was statistically significant (t = -2.94, p<.01). There was no significant change in pedometer steps for the control group in either adults or children. Results of this study suggest that FHE may be a useful mechanism for increasing steps taken daily. There are other factors that may increase the effectiveness of the lessons such as readiness of the participants to change, number of lessons, lesson content and/or time between lessons.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



Date Submitted


Document Type





physical activity, religion, pedometers, families, Family Home Evening