Citizen science to communicate about public health messages: the reach of a playful online survey on sitting time and physical activity

De Cocker, Katrien and Chastin, Sebastien F. M. and De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse and Imbo, Ineke and Stragier, Jeroen and Cardon, Greet (2019) Citizen science to communicate about public health messages: the reach of a playful online survey on sitting time and physical activity. Health Communication, 34 (7). pp. 720-725. ISSN 1041-0236

Abstract

There is a lack of research on how to communicate public health guidelines. Citizen science (CS) has been an effective way to involve the public in research. This study analyses the reach of a well-established CS experiment, launched during an annual national science event, to understand if it could be used as communication strategy for public health issues. A short playful online survey contained tailored health-related messages associated to an 'animal totem' profile, based on the combination of sitting and physical activity levels (koala: high sitting, low activity; gorilla: high sitting, high activity; zebra: low sitting, low activity; bee: low sitting, high activity). Tweets, radio interviews, radio and online advertisements, press articles, and a press conference were used to promote the CS experiment. Google Analytics and Facebook Graph API (application programming interface) (use and spread of experiment) and descriptive statistics (attributes of adults completing the experiment) were used. A total of 6,246 adults completed the experiment, with a peak of views (n = 5,103) and completions (n = 1,209) a couple of days before the event. Completers were mostly female (65.8%), on average 37.5 years old, and had a healthy body mass index (23.8 kg/m(2)). Nearly half (46.4%) had the most beneficial profile ('bee'), 26.5% had the least healthy profile ('koala'). CS as part of a national science event is a good platform for health communication as 1 in 1,000 Flemish adults were reached. However, those completing the experiment were not representative of the general Flemish adult population and reported to be more physically active. Abbreviations: API: application programming interface; BMI: body mass index; CVD: cardiovascular disease; METs: metabolic equivalents.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health, Informatics and Economic Research (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health, Informatics and Economic Research (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2019 06:29
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2019 05:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: sedentary behaviour, public involvement, health communication, public health guidelines
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2018.1433955
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37032

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