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Milner’s Walking Bus Program wins NASPA Silver Award

February 19, 2015

“Walking Buses for Adults: A Pilot Program to Decrease Obesity,” led by Adrienne N. Milner, PhD, teaching assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and mentored member of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), was selected as the Silver Award winning submission in the 2014-2015 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Excellence Awards, in the Athletics, Recreation, Physical Fitness, Non-Varsity Sports, and related Category. NASPA recognizes “the outstanding contributions of members who are transforming higher education through exceptional programs, innovative services, and effective administration” in eleven categories that are “crucial to the success of students and the continued growth of the student affairs profession.”

Dr. Milner and her colleague, Assistant Professor Elizabeth H. Baker, PhD, designed and implemented the world’s first adult walking bus program to address two significant problems in Birmingham: obesity and physical inactivity. The program applies the concept of children’s walking school buses, which have been proven to promote health, social cohesion, and academic achievement, to adults. Using survey data that Drs. Milner and Baker collected, they developed six walking routes and selected 45 overweight and obese individuals to monitor their progress concerning how the program affected steps per day, weight loss, and blood pressure outcomes. They have one published article on motivations and barriers to utilizing adult walking buses, and their second article on adult walking buses and sex, race, socioeconomic status, physical activity, and weight loss is currently under review.

The walking bus program was funded by the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC); WeightWatcher’s, Inc.; and the One Great Community Council of the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), and received the American Heart Association’s Workplace Innovation Award (gold). More information about the program on the Birmingham Walking Buses Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/bhamwalkingbus.

Dr. Milner’s research addresses issues of equity in terms of race and ethnicity and sex and gender in sports and political contexts. Specifically, she examines disparities in access to sport participation and analyzes the costs and benefits of participation for individuals with complex and diverse identities. Her other work focuses on racial and sexual attitudes, policy preferences, and inequality in the Obama era. She has a forthcoming book with Jomills Henry Braddock II, PhD, on segregation in sport.