Messages to promote physical activity: are descriptors of required duration and intensity related to intentions to be more active?

Knox, Emily C. L. and Biddle, Stuart J. H. ORCID: and Taylor, Ian M. and Latimer-Cheung, Amy E. and Webb, Oliver J. and Sherar, Lauren B. (2015) Messages to promote physical activity: are descriptors of required duration and intensity related to intentions to be more active? Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 4. pp. 1-7. ISSN 2277-9531

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Introduction: Mass-media campaigns such as, 'Change4Life' in the UK and 'get active America' in the US, promote physical activity (PA) recommendations of at least 150 min/week of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). We investigated whether different messages used in MVPA campaigns were associated with intention to engage in more MVPA. Materials and Methods: Theory of planned behavior (TPB) constructs; subjective norms, affective attitudes, instrumental attitudes and perceived behavioral control (PBC) were applied to explain the associations between campaign messages and intentions to engage in more MVPA. Results: A total of 1412 UK adults completed an online survey on MVPA and TPB. The sample was 70% female and 93% white with 23% reporting meeting PA guidelines. Participants received one of three messages: A walking message either with or without the 150 min/week threshold (WalkT; WalkNT); a physiological description of MVPA with the 150 min/week threshold (PhysT). ANCOVA examined group differences in intention. Path analysis evaluated mediation by TPB variables. ANCOVA identified lower intentions to increase MVPA in group PhysT relative to WalkT and WalkNT (P < 0.001). PBC mediated this relationship in WalkT (β = 0.014, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.004–0.028) whereas affective attitudes mediated this relationship in WalkNT (β = 0.059, 95% CI = 0.006–0.113). Conclusions: Campaigns promoting MVPA guidelines need to choose their messages carefully. Messages which exemplified MVPA through walking were associated with higher intentions to increase MVPA than messages using a physiological description. Further, PBC was enhanced when the 150 min/week threshold was promoted alongside the walking exemplar. Future exemplars should be investigated to inform adults how to meet MVPA guidelines.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version made available under open access.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 12 May 2017 03:09
Last Modified: 18 May 2017 05:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health promotion, mass-media messages, physical activity,theory of planned behavior
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110602 Exercise Physiology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion
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