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National level promotion of physical activity: results from England's ACTIVE for LIFE campaign


STUDY OBJECTIVE To assess the impact of a national campaign on awareness of the campaign, change in knowledge of physical activity recommendations and self reported physical activity.

DESIGN three year prospective longitudinal survey using a multi-stage, cluster random probability design to select participants.

SETTING England.

PARTICIPANTS A nationally representative sample of 3189 adults aged 16–74 years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Awareness of the advertising element of the campaign, changes in knowledge of physical activity recommendations for health and self reported physical activity.

RESULTS 38% of participants were aware of the main advertising images, assessed six to eight months after the main television advertisement. The proportion of participants knowledgeable about moderate physical activity recommendations increased by 3.0% (95% CI: 1.4%, 4.5%) between waves 1 and 2 and 3.7% (95% CI: 2.1%, 5.3%) between waves 1 and 3. The change in proportion of active people between baseline and waves 1 and 2 was

−0.02 (95% CI: −2.0 to +1.7) and between waves 1 and 3 was −9.8 (−7.9 to −11.7).

CONCLUSION The proportion of participants who were knowledgeable about the new recommendations, increased significantly after the campaign. There was however, no significant difference in knowledge by awareness of the main campaign advertisement. There is no evidence thatACTIVE for LIFE improved physical activity, either overall or in any subgroup.

  • exercise
  • mass media
  • follow up studies
  • health promotion
  • physical activity

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