Campaigns and Informational Approaches to Increase Physical Activity: Community-Wide Campaigns
Community-wide campaigns to increase physical activity are interventions that:
- Involve many community sectors
- Include highly visible, broad-based, multicomponent strategies (e.g., social support, risk factor screening or health education)
- May also address other cardiovascular disease risk factors, particularly diet and smoking
Summary of Task Force Recommendations & Findings
The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends community-wide campaigns on the basis of strong evidence of effectiveness in increasing physical activity and improving physical fitness among adults and children.
Results from the Systematic Reviews
Ten studies qualified for the review.
- Percentage of people who report being physically active: median net increase of 4.2% (interquartile range: -2.9% to 9.4%; 6 study arms)
- Energy expenditure: median net increase of 16.3% (interquartile range: 7.6% to 21.4%; 3 study arms)
- Other measures of physical activity: all but one of five study arms showed increases in physical activity.
- This review also found evidence that community-wide campaigns are effective in increasing:
- Knowledge about exercise and physical activity
- The intention to be more physically active
- These campaigns can also reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, studies that measured body weight changes had mixed results. Some studies showed weight loss, but others showed no change or even slight weight gain.
- The results of this review should be applicable to most communities in the United States if the campaign is adapted to specific needs and interests of the target population.
These results were based on a systematic review of all available studies, conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice, and policy related to physical activity.
Kahn EB, Ramsey LT, Brownson R, et al. The effectiveness of interventions to increase physical activity: a systematic review. [PDF - 3.14MB] Am J Prev Med 2002;22(4S):73-107.
Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Recommendations to increase physical activity in communities. [PDF - 70KB] Am J Prev Med 2002;22 (4S):67-72.
CDC. Increasing physical activity. A report on recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. MMWR 2001;50 (RR-18):1-16.
Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Physical activity. [PDF - 302KB] In : Zaza S, Briss PA, Harris KW, eds. The Guide to Community Preventive Services: What Works to Promote Health? Atlanta (GA): Oxford University Press;2005:80-113.
More Community Guide publications about Promoting Physical Activity
The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC.
The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Campaigns and informational approaches to increase physical activity: community-wide campaigns. www.thecommunityguide.org/pa/campaigns/community.html. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.
Review completed: February 2001
- Page last reviewed: April 4, 2011
- Page last updated: December 21, 2011
- Content source: The Guide to Community Preventive Services