Rural Active Living Work Group
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People engaging in physical activity in a rural setting


The mission of the PAPREN Rural Active Living Work Group is to build a multi-disciplinary network of researchers and practitioners from academia, non-profit organizations, government, and other funding agencies to: 1) increase the amount and quality of active living research and evaluation in rural areas, and 2) facilitate the development and implementation of evidence-informed physical activity practices and policies specific to rural communities.

The strength of our Work Group has been in our ability to collaborate to get work done. To that end, we see our role as three-fold: (1) generate new ideas and collaborations, (2) maintain and foster connections across researchers and practitioners committed to advancing health in rural communities, and (3) complete a core research project each year. We will place an emphasis on facilitating the development and implementation of research ideas and collaborations within our Work Group and with the other PAPREN Work Groups. We welcome additional collaborators on our core research projects, which are listed below:

  1. 2020 – submit manuscript quantifying the factors associated with physical activity guideline prevalence in rural counties (“Positive Deviance”), led by Christiaan Abildso
  2. 2021 – rural comprehensive planning, led by Lisa Charron from U Wisconsin
    1. Rural Comp Plan scorecard, and/or
    2. Assessing state policies that mandate comprehensive planning for a) health requirements and b) minimum size of municipality required to do planning (i.e., rurality)
  3. 2022 – rural libraries/physical activity – led by Noah Lenstra from UNC Greensboro/Let’s Move in Libraries; specific topic TBD
Cynthia Perry, PhD, FNP-BC, FAHA
Cynthia Perry, PhD, FNP-BC, FAHA
School of Nursing
Oregon Health & Science University
Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD, MCHES, FAAHB
Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD, MCHES, FAAHB
Baylor University Department of Public Health
Christiaan Abildso, PhD, MPH
Christiaan Abildso, PhD, MPH
West Virginia University School of Public Health

Meeting Time

Second Wednesdays 1-2pm ET

For meeting access information, contact Sam Pierson (

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