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Health Psychol. 2013 Jan;32(1):24-32. doi: 10.1037/a0030108.

Messages for men: the efficacy of EPPM-based messages targeting men's physical activity.

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  • 1School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.



The majority of men are insufficiently active. Men's tendencies to participate in risky behaviors and their inactivity likely contribute to their increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Physical activity decreases the risk of developing many chronic diseases and may be an optimal behavior to target in men's health interventions. However, educational resources promoting physical activity for men are lacking. To address this gap, we tested the efficacy of messages based upon the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM; Witte, 1992) to increase men's physical activity intentions and behaviors.


Men who were not meeting physical activity guidelines (n = 611) were randomly assigned to read high or low efficacy physical activity messages paired with high or no health risk information. Participants read four brief messages on four consecutive days. Intentions were assessed at baseline and the first follow-up (Day 5). Manipulation check measures were assessed at Day 5. Behavior was assessed at baseline and the second follow-up (Day 14).


Overall, the messages had small sized effects. A completer analysis revealed that although men's intentions to be active increased over the course of the study regardless of the messages they received, only men who received risk information significantly increased their physical activity. Men who received low efficacy and risk information were less likely to meet the physical activity guidelines at Day 14 than men who only received low efficacy information.


From these results, we suggest preliminary recommendations for the development of physical activity messages for men and areas for future EPPM-based research.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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