Reger B, Cooper L, Booth-Butterfield S, Smith H, Bauman A, Wootan M, Middlestadt S, Marcus B, Greer F. (2002). Wheeling Walks: A Community Campaign Using Paid Media to Encourage Walking Among Sedentary Older Adults. Preventive Medicine, 35, 285-292.
|Program Title||Wheeling Walks|
|Purpose||Designed to increase physical activity among sedentary individuals. (2002)|
|Program Focus||Behavior Modification|
|Population Focus||Sedentary Individuals|
|Age||Adults (40-65 years)|
|Race/Ethnicity||This information has not been reported.|
|Funded by||Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Grant number(s): 039750)|
|User Reviews||(Be the first to write a review for this program)|
The community of Wheeling, WV, was chosen as the intervention group (called Wheeling Walks, or WW), with Parkersburg, WV, chosen as the comparison group. Both Appalachian cities have similar demographics but no overlapping media. The intervention targeted sedentary and irregularly active 50- to 65-year-old residents. Prior to the campaign in Wheeling, 12 weeks were spent mobilizing community members (e.g., elected officials, community agencies, health professionals) to assist with subsequent planning and implementation. Once the 8-week Wheeling Walks campaign was initiated, activities included:
- two newspaper ads, two 30-second TV commercials, and two 60-second radio ads;
- special public relations events such as weekly press conferences and news coverage;
- worksite programs for participants to submit weekly logs of minutes walking;
- exposure to a website designed to keep community members informed of upcoming events;
- physicians prescribing 30-minutes of walking 5 days per week to their patients; and
- other public health education programs.
A booster campaign was planned for September 2001, but was cancelled due to terrorist attacks that month. A second booster was implemented roughly 6 months later. The 4-week booster consisted of additional TV commercials, news print advertising, radio spots, and 4 public relations events. In addition, a 16-week free walking clinic was established, but evaluation data was not collected for this component.
Measures included behavioral observations and self-reported observations via telephone. Telephone surveys were conducted at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 12-months post-intervention using a panel design; respondents were initially identified through random digit dialing.
- Based on self-report data, relative to comparison participants, more of those individuals who walked less than 10 minutes a day at baseline reported being active walkers at 3-month follow-up. Increases in self-reported active walking were maintained at 12-month follow-up for participants who were sedentary at baseline.
- However, the behavioral observation data demonstrated no pre to post differences between the intervention or comparison community.
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