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Prev Med. 2009 Feb;48(2):144-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.10.022. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Randomized trial of a neighborhood environment-focused physical activity website intervention.

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The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia.



To evaluate the use of a local neighborhood environment-focused physical activity website and its effects on walking and overall physical activity in middle-aged adults.


One-hundred and six (72% women) inactive adults aged 52+/-4.6 years were randomly allocated to receive access to a neighborhood environment-focused website, (Neighborhood group, n=52) or a motivational-information website (Comparison group n=54). Participants also received eleven emails over the 26 weeks. Study outcomes were objectively-monitored website use, and self-reported total walking (min/wk), total physical activity (min/wk) and neighborhood walking (min/wk) collected at baseline, 12 and 26 weeks. The study was conducted between August 2005 and February 2006 in Brisbane, Australia.


Website use was significantly greater among Neighborhood participants (p=0.01). Statistically significant increases in walking and total physical activity were observed in both groups. There was also a statistically significant interaction effect for total physical activity, with Neighborhood group participants maintaining more of their initial increase in physical activity at week-26 (p<0.05). Further, those in the Neighborhood group who used the website more often reported significantly more walking along the community trail at week-26 (p=0.05) compared with those who did not.


A local neighborhood-environment focused physical activity website was more effective at engaging participants than a motivational-information website. Moreover, its use resulted in meaningful increases in physical activity relative to the comparison website.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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