Fitness Resources

This section of the site provides quick access to case studies and helpful on-line social marketing resources for increasing fitness levels. We welcome suggestions for additional case studies and resources

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April 13, 2018. We apologize but THIS PAGE IS NOT WORKING PROPERLY. We are in the process of fixing it.

Until we are able to fix this page, we suggest you refer instead to the Active Living Topic Resources page, which shares many of the same entries.

Nov. 15, 2017 Virtually Everyone Benefits From More Physical Activity
Systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses (based largely on epidemiological studies consisting of large cohorts) have demonstrated a dose-response relationship between physical activity and premature mortality and the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic medical conditions. The relationships between physical activity and health outcomes are generally curvilinear such that marked health benefits are observed with relatively minor volumes of physical activity. More
June 6, 2016

We've added a number of new case studies relating to gardening and active transportation (see the left hand column below), as well as new resources on program impact attribution, barriers and benefits, and creating fitness programs for those with disabilities. The most recently added resource is a study that found that "Individuals who walk at a brisk or fast pace are more likely to have a lower weight when compared to individuals doing other activities." See the right hand column below.

September 11, 2015

Increases in physical activity are as important as smoking cessation for reduction in total mortality in elderly men (12 years of follow-up of the Oslo II study - see Br J Sports Med 2015;49:743-748 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094522.)  Also - note the newly-posted reports that (1) provide a call to action from the (U.S.) Surgeon General to promote walking and walkable communities, (2) explain why cyclists form stronger commuting habits than drivers, (3) review the history of global bikesharing, (4) summarize the evidence on co-benefits of activity-friendly environments and (5) explore the use of telephone and web-based technologies. See the right hand column below. We've also updated our BIXI case study.

 

Most Recent Fitness Case Studies

Landmark Case Study Energy Connect  Environment

Energy savings and occupant comfort can be achieved quickly and persistently in large, complex facilities when building operators and mechanics see energy savings as part of their job and are empowered to solve building performance issues. This program, called Energy Connect, demonstrates how inherently risk-adverse and cash-strapped hospitals with the primary mandate of patient care, can adopt a culture of conservation without adding any new resources. A package of five interventions, developed using a Design Thinking approach, were tested in healthcare living labs across six diverse healthcare facilities at the second largest health network in North America. Verified first year results show annual energy savings at three facilities from 3% to 12% attributable to Energy Connect. Preliminary unverified results in the other three facilities also show energy savings.

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Landmark Case Study Brisbane's Active Schools Travel Program  EnvironmentHealthSafety

Showing a long-term commitment to travel behaviour change, Brisbane (Australia) City Council’s Active Schools Travel program was established in 2004 and by 2018 over 157 primary schools had participated in the program. Initially developed as a road safety program, it has evolved into an active travel program to ensure there a balanced approach to reducing traffic congestion and increasing physical activity levels. It now offers weekly active travel days, special events, maps, bike and scooter skills training and public transport orientation classes for students. There are competitions and rewards to incentivise individuals, classes and whole school populations, and opportunities to identify necessary infrastructure improvements. On average, the progam has achieved a 23% increase in active travel (mostly walking trips), corresponding to a 23% reduction in car trips. Designated a Landmark Case Study in 2018. 

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NYSERDA Window Air Conditioning Pilot  Environment

This easily replicable pilot demonstrated how to use normative feedback and conservation tips to reduce window air-conditioning use among low- to moderate-income tenants of large multi-family buildings who do not pay their own utilities. Both the normative feedback and normative feedback combined with intrinsic priming resulted in significantly reduced electricity consumption compared to a control condition, with monthly electricity savings from 3% to 5%. There was a statistically significant persistence savings for 10 months post treatment for the normative feedback condition.

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“Taking Off? Turn Us Off” Office Computer Pilot  Environment

This pilot program used personal communication, norms, commitments, and prompts to engage government employees to turn off both their computers and monitors at the end of the workday. A control group was included in the evaluation design. The results revealed significant increases in computer shutdown rates in two out of the three participating agencies (the third agency had a baseline shutdown rate of nearly 90%). The most impressive findings were for computer monitor shutdown rates which nearly doubled in all three agencies.

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Columbus Ohio’s C-Pass Transit Pilot  Environment

The C-pass pilot program aims to alleviate the growing demand for parking in the downtown area by providing unlimited use of transit to employees working within downtown at no cost to themselves. The pilot provided transit passes to employees of five downtown employers during 2015-2016. The data from this pilot program was then analyzed and stakeholders within the SID decided to fund full scale implementation of this program to all 45,000 eligible workers working in the downtown area. This full scale implementation was branded Downtown C-pass,  began operating on June 1st, 2018, and will stay in place until December 31st, 2020. At that point the program will be analyzed again and further funding decisions will be made.

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Cure Violence  Safety

Cure Violence shows it can be effective to treat violence using a health approach– i.e. to treat it as a contagion rather than as a problem of bad people. The intervention relies heavily on peer influencers and norm appeals. It has had multiple independent evaluations – all showing large statistically significant reductions in violence.

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Landmark Case Study Chicago’s Go Program  EnvironmentHealth

Chicago’s Go Program is an Individualized Marketing program that helps residents walk, bike, ride transit, and use bike share more frequently, while driving alone less often. Compared with past Individualized Marketing efforts in other cities, the Go Programs have pushed the envelope of inclusive, accessible programming that serves a very broad range of Chicago neighborhoods - and the very high participation rates and positive post-program stakeholder input show that this effort paid off. Because of these successes, the Go Program can serve as a model for other communities looking to integrate equity and diversity in Transportation Demand Management programs. On average, 65% of post-program survey respondents report increased walking, biking, or transit usage because of the program. The program’s behavior-changing results led the City of Chicago to designate funding for additional neighborhoods in the future.

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Landmark Case Study Fort Collins Efficiency Works (Neighborhoods).  Environment

In a pilot from the fall of 2015 to the fall of 2016, Fort Collins Utilities doubled enrollment rates, converted 44% of energy efficiency assessments to comprehensive upgrades, and doubled average project energy savings. In 2017, this pilot received both Landmark designation and the American Public Power Association Energy Innovator award. The pilot offered a streamlined, turn-key service for homeowners that overcame key barriers to participation such as lack of time to select and meet with contractors, too many complex technical scope of work decisions, homeowner distrust of contractor proposals, and concerns about paying for improvements. The campaign also used a propensity model to target the neighborhoods with the highest potential for saving, and then direct mail marketing to neighborhoods with the highest propensity to participate. This case study was designated Landmark in 2017.

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Landmark Case Study Capitol Hill In Motion  EnvironmentHealth

Capitol Hill In Motion is a recent evolution of the individualized marketing approach used by King County, Washington State, USA. It illustrates how to further engage communities where most trips are already not drive-alone. With remarkably high signup rates, this campaign also delivered a solid 16% average reduction in drive-alone trips (surpassing the campaign goal and King County’s overall goal of a 10% reduction). 

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Familles à énergie positive  Environment

France's multi-year "Familles à énergie positive" program uses peer support groups (eco-teams) to reduce residential energy and water consumption. During the 2014/2015 period, participants reported an average 12% reduction in energy consumption, saving 8,500,000 kWh overall. Between 2008 and 2016 it engaged 90,000 individuals in 36,908 participating households.

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TransLink’s Smart Card  Environment

British Columbia’s TransLink introduced Compass, a travel pass payment system that replaced 150 different tickets and passes. To ensure positive adoption, TransLink brought customers through a series of messaging that generated awareness, created broad comprehension around Compass benefits and features, and educated customers on proper card use behaviour. It achieved a 95% adoption rate within months of closing the gates, and transit ridership increased 4-6% per year following introduction

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Denver’s Schoolpool  EnvironmentHealth

Schoolpool is a dynamic program that gets students to and from school in a safer, more social and environmentally sustainable fashion,using carpools, transit and finding buddies for walking and cycling. Parents and guardians can locate nearby families or search for them along their child’s route to school. The program serves 150 campuses in the Denver region, and more than 19,000 families. 

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Macon Connects  EnvironmentHealth

A temporary network of cycling lanes convinced the community of Macon GA to create permanent protected lanes. One-block sections of street that had previously been made more bike-friendly had not been used much and there was concern that not enough people would actually cycle. The pilot created the largest pop-up bike lane network in the world and tested five alternative kinds of bike infrastructure, from sharrows (painted stripes) to more buffered lanes and protected cycle racks with bollards.

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Landmark Case Study Playa Vista Ability2Change  EnvironmentHealth

Playa Vista's Ability2Change program is a great example of a targeted, strategic approach to transport behavior change. It features careful market segmentation and barrier removal, with different initiatives for different people. In just seven months it yielded a 4.9% decrease in peak time drive alone mode share across the entire community (a decrease of 3.5 percentage points from 71.4% to 67.9%), with corresponding increases in carpool, cycling and transit trips. 

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Landmark Case Study Shower Feedback in Switzerland  Environment

The Shower Feedback program provides households with real-time feedback on one specific, energy-intensive behaviour: showering. Participants receive smart shower meters that display feedback on the individual’s energy and water consumption in the shower in real time. On average, participants cut their shower time by an average of roughly 20%, which reduced related water and energy consumption by about the same amount. This program was designated a Tools of Change Landmark case study in 2016. 

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Most Recent Fitness Resources

Communications Handbook for Climate Change Scientists  Environment

This communications Handbook, commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change offers a wealth of research on the science of climate change communication, practical tips and case studies. Also noted below is Climate Outreach's more recent guide to Communicating Carbon Pricing

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Bringing the Concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture to Life  Environment

This report offers the most complete overview to date of agricultural technologies considered climate-smart around the world, including specific barriers to their adoption.

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Changing Climates of Conflict: A social network experiment in 56 schools  Safety

This study with 56 schools (some acting as controls) demonstrates the power of peer influence for changing climates of conflict, and suggests which students to involve in those efforts. By engaging a small set of students to take a public stance against typical forms of conflict at their school, the intervention reduced overall levels of conflict by an estimated 30%.

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School-Based Violence & Bullying Prevention Programs  Safety

There is strong evidence that school-based violence and bullying prevention programs reduce violence and victimization. Such programs have also been shown to modestly reduce bullying in some circumstances. Programs implemented at the classroom level appear more effective than formal school policies against bullying or approaches that focus on specific bullies, and longer, more intense programs reduce bullying more than less intense programs. Multi-component interventions and focused attention for at-risk youth can also increase program effectiveness.

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Youth Mentoring as a Viable Crime Prevention Strategy: Evidence and Ontario policy, with reflections from some mentors  Safety

Youth mentoring can be a cost-effective way to reduce the likelihood of offending. Best practices include: outreach to vulnerable youth, involving parents, screening and training mentors, matching mentors and mentees based on background, having mentoring connected to a larger strategy, following a developmental approach, and developing standards for implementation.

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The Effectiveness of School-Based Bullying Prevention Programs: A systematic review  Safety

Of the 32 articles, 17 assess both bullying and victimization, 10 assess victimization only, and 5 assess bullying only. Of the 22 studies examining bullying perpetration, 11 (50%) observed significant effects; of the 27 studies examining bullying victimization, 18 (67%) reported significant effects.

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Online Interventions for Social Marketing Health Behavior Change Campaigns: a meta-analysis of psychological architectures and adherence factors  Health

These findings demonstrate that online interventions have the capacity to influence voluntary behaviors, such as those routinely targeted by social marketing campaigns. Given the high reach and low cost of online technologies, the stage may be set for increased public health campaigns that blend interpersonal online systems with mass-media outreach.

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A Meta-Analysis of the Evaluations of Social Marketing Interventions Addressing Smoking, Alcohol Drinking, Physical Activity, and Eating  Health

Interventions using social marketing principles were effective at bringing about statistically significant behavior changes. Interventions designed to effectively change eating, physical activity, and smoking behaviors were effective; those addressing drinking alcohol were not. Interventions that tackled multiple behavior objectives usually failed to succeed. This review showed that marketing mix, exchange strategies, and use of theory were significant factors of program effectiveness.

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A Review of Current Practices to Increase Chlamydia Screening in the Community--a consumer-centered social marketing perspective  Health

Of 18 interventions identified, quality of evidence was low. Proportional screening rates varied, ranging from: 30.9 to 62.5% in educational settings (n = 4), 4.8 to 63% in media settings (n = 6) and from 5.7 to 44.5% in other settings (n = 7). Assessment against benchmark criteria found that interventions incorporating social marketing principles were more likely to achieve positive results, yet few did this comprehensively.

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Effectiveness of a Communication for Behavioural Impact Intervention to Reduce Salt Intake in Vietnam  Health

This behavior change intervention, implemented in four wards and four communes in Vietnam for one year, included mass media communication, school interventions, community programs, and a focus on high?risk groups. It was effective in lowering average population salt intake and improving knowledge and behaviors.

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Effectiveness of Social Marketing Strategies to Reduce Youth Obesity in European School-Based Interventions: A systematic review and meta-analysis  Health

Current evidence indicates that the inclusion of at least 5 SMBC domains (from the National Social Marketing Centre?s social marketing benchmark criteria) in school-based interventions could benefit efforts to prevent obesity in young people.

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Insights from Smart Meters: Ramp-Up, Dependability, and Short-Term Persistence of Savings from Home Energy Reports  Environment

The analysis presented uses easily available data to determine the ramp-up, dependability and short-term persistence of savings in Home Energy Reports (HERs).

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Effectiveness of Decision Aids for Smoking Cessation in Adults: A quantitative systematic review  Health

The evidence suggests that decision aids may be effective in increasing smoking cessation knowledge and decisional quality while increasing quit attempts. There is, however, inconclusive evidence to support the definitive effectiveness of decision aids for long term and sustained smoking cessation.

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A Systematic Review of Behavioural Interventions Promoting Healthy Eating Among Older People  Health

The aim of this systematic review was to identify effective diet interventions for older people and provide useful evidence and direction for further research. Three dietary educational interventions and all meal service related interventions reported improvements in older people's dietary variety, nutrition status, or other health-related eating behaviours. Multicomponent dietary interventions mainly contributed to the reduction of risk of chronic disease. The results supported that older people could achieve a better dietary quality if they make diet-related changes by receiving either dietary education or healthier meal service.

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The Impact of Wearable Motion Sensing Technology on Physical Activity in Older Adults  Health

This meta-analysis investigated how different wearable activity trackers (pedometers and accelerometers) may impact physical activity levels in older adults. Nine studies met the eligibility criteria: Four using accelerometers, four using pedometers, and one comparing accelerometers and pedometers, for a total number of 939 participants. Accelerometers, but not pedometers, increased physical activity in older adults.

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