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Prev Med. 2002 Sep;35(3):285-92.

Wheeling Walks: a community campaign using paid media to encourage walking among sedentary older adults.

Author information

  • 1Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-9190, USA. wreger@hsc.wvu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mass media may effect communitywide changes in health awareness, attitude, and behavior, but the approach remains unproven for physical activity.

METHODS:

Wheeling Walks promoted walking among sedentary 50- to 65-year-old adults in a West Virginia city of 31,420 people. This quasi-experimental communication intervention used theory of planned behavior and transtheoretical model constructs to change behavior by promoting 30 min of daily walking through paid media, public relations, and public health activities. Impact was determined by pre- and postintervention telephone surveys with 719 adults in the intervention community and 753 adults in the comparison community and observations of walkers at 10 community sites.

RESULTS:

Behavior observation showed a 23% increase in the number of walkers in the intervention community versus no change in the comparison community (OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.14-1.50). Thirty-two percent (32.2) of the baseline sedentary population in the intervention community reported meeting the CDC/ACSM/Surgeon General recommendation for moderate-intensity physical activity by walking at least 30 min at least five times per week versus 18.0% in the comparison community (OR = 2.12, 95% CI = 1.41-2.24). The intervention community also realized a pre to post increase in positive stage change (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

This theory-based mass media campaign demonstrated increases in those meeting the recommended standard for moderate-intensity physical activity through walking and significant positive stage change.

PMID:
12202072
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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