Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Emily C. Graybill, PhD, NCSP

Second Advisor

Katie L. Mooney, MPH, CPH


Heart disease is the prominent killer across most racial and ethnic groups in the United States; however, cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality disproportionately affect non-Hispanic Blacks at higher rates than non-Hispanic Whites. While individual behaviors such as physical inactivity and poor nutrition (characterized by lack of recommended fruit and vegetable consumption) are a constant barrier to heart health among Blacks, there are social and environmental factors that covertly and overtly contribute to cardiovascular risk factors and CVD. The aim of this study was to conduct a literature review on community-based walking programs and explicate salient characteristics of such programs. A literature search was conducted using keywords: “community-based walking programs”, “cardiovascular disease”, and “heart disease among African Americans”. The summative results of this study imply community-based walking programs can be efficacious chronic illness reduction interventions.