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J Adolesc Health. 2006 Jul;39(1):96-104.

A comparison of Web and print media for physical activity promotion among adolescent girls.

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Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.



To compare the effectiveness of a Web-based physical activity (PA) intervention with identical content delivered in a printed workbook among a sample of adolescent girls.


Participants consisted of 319 girls with home Internet access enrolled in four middle schools within one school district. A randomized trial design was used to compare changes in PA self-efficacy and intentions after two weeks of exposure to either a Web- or print-based intervention delivered to their home. Self-reported physical activity was assessed as a secondary outcome. Analysis of covariance was conducted to determine changes between the intervention groups while controlling for baseline levels of PA constructs.


Both Web and print groups had significant changes in physical activity self-efficacy (Web: t[155] = 2.58, p = .01; print: t[156] = 3.11, p = .002) and intentions (Web: t[157] = 2.27, p = .02; print: t[159] = 6.32, p < or = .001). The print group demonstrated significantly greater increases in intentions compared with the Web group (F [1,315] = 13.53, p < or = .001). Self-reported physical activity increased significantly in the print group only (t[159] = 3.21, p = .002).


It cannot be assumed that new media technologies are superior to traditional media such as print for health communication to adolescents. These results suggest that a printed workbook was more effective than an identical website for increasing physical activity intentions and behavior among a sample of middle school girls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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