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

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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Chicago’s Go Program  EnvironmentHealth

Chicago’s Go Program is an Individualized Marketing program that helps residents walk, bike, ride transit, and share bikes more frequently, while driving alone less often. Participants have access to free personal support, group activities, and personalized Go Kits full of walking, biking, transit, and bike share information. Local outreach ambassadors help people explore their travel options by engaging residents in dialogue and fostering community partnerships. The program also organizes and leads group events where staff and ambassadors answer questions and provide personal support to help reduce barriers to accessing transportation options. Each program has continued on afterwards as a community-based initiative, independent of the original grant funding. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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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). This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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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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Landmark Case Study Ohm Connect’s #OhmHour Program  Environment

Ohm Connect’s #OhmHour Program pays program participants to reduce their energy at peak times. On average, participants save100-200 kWh at peak times per year per household. While there have been a number of episodic energy efficiency programs in the past, this case study adds three innovative elements: a focus on peak demand with remarkable frequency, flexibility and precision; rich gamification features that encourage user participation; and an optional level of automation that was not available until the recent installation of smart meters and widespread availability of smart devices. Implementation requires no hardware to purchase or install. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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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 tested a new hybrid model of comprehensive home performance (HP) contracting to increase participation and energy savings. It offered a streamlined, turn-key service for homeowner 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. The pilot doubled enrollment rates, converted 44% of energy efficiency assessments to upgrades, and doubled average project energy savings. In 2017, this pilot received the American Public Power Association Energy Innovator award. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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Landmark Case Study Energy Star  Environment

ENERGY STAR is one of the most effective public sector voluntary behavior change programs in U.S. history. The program was designed with the goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the energy efficiency of products. ENERGY STAR sets national specifications for energy efficient products that are in the top 20% of efficiency for the product category. As efficiency in each product category improves, the specification moves up, encouraging continual improvement. Manufacturers that meet the specifications can use the ENERGY STAR label on products and in their marketing. Utilities can set rebate dollars based on a nationally accepted specification which makes it easy for manufacturers and retailers to participate in their rebate programs. Ultimately, consumers can easily identify products that are energy efficient when shopping. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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Energy+Illawarra  Environment

Energy+Illawarra is a community oriented strategic social marketing program with the aim of supporting home energy efficiency, comfort and wellbeing among 830 older, low-income people in the Illawarra, NSW, Australia.

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Duke Energy's Smart Energy in Offices Program  Environment

Duke Energy's Smart Energy in Offices program (SEiO) is one of the few behavioral programs targeting energy savings opportunities in large commercial office buildings. It encourages energy savings from improved energy efficient building operations and maintenance practices, and also from improved tenant and employee energy management and conservation practices.

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Clean Air at Home  EnvironmentHealth

"Clean Air at Home: Small Steps Make a Big Difference" is a targeted, community-based social marketing campaign that reduces young families’ exposures to environmental contaminants at home such as mould, dust, fumes from toxic cleaners and tobacco smoke. Almost three in four participants changed some of their behaviors and almost one half reported performing all five of the behaviors being promoted.

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Landmark Case Study King County In Motion  EnvironmentHealth

In Motion participants pledge to shift two drive-alone trips per week to transit, ridesharing, biking or walking. The program uses motivational interviewing, commitments, rewards, engaging materials and norm appeals tailored to each target community. It has been called into action during or in anticipation of major construction, transit restructures or new transit service such as light rail or bus rapid transit. Since creating In Motion in 2004, King County Metro Transit has applied a growing toolkit of community-based social marketing techniques to persuade about 23,000 Seattle-area travelers to drive less. Designated a Landmark case study in 2015. A 4.5 minute You Tube video summary is available.

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Most Recent Fitness Resources

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%. Read More »

Gun Policy Analysis  Safety

Rand Corporation reviewed thousands of studies to identify all available evidence for the effects of 13 gun policies in the USA on eight outcomes. Read More »

School Violence and Bullying Global Status Report  Safety

This report, prepared by UNESCO and the Institute of School Violence and Prevention in January 2017, provides an overview of available data on the nature, extent and impact of school violence and bullying and initiatives to address the problem.

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Longer-Lasting Actions and Responses to Extreme Events Can Have Great Impact  Environment

This paper links climate science and behavioural science, estimates the potential impact of behavioural programs, and predicts the three types of behavioural programs with the largest impact.

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Accelerating Movement Through the Stages of Change for Forest Conservation: a best practice literature review and synthesis  Environment

This report documents how to accelerate the movement from one stage of change to the next. The report has three main sections: (1) an introduction to Stage of Change theory, (2) recommendations for accelerating movement at each stage of change, and (3) recommendations for measuring movement from one stage to the next.

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Global Burden of Disease  EnvironmentHealthSafety

A comprehensive picture of what disables and kills people across countries, time, age, and sex. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) provides a tool to quantify health loss from hundreds of diseases, injuries, and risk factors, so that health systems can be improved and disparities can be eliminated.Collected and analyzed by a consortium of more than 2,300 researchers, the data capture premature death and disability from more than 300 diseases and injuries in 195 countries

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WHO Issues Updated Biobehavioural Survey Guidelines for Populations at Risk for HIV  Health

These updated WHO guidelines cover all aspects of surveying key populations, including sampling methods for hard-to-sample populations, integration of methods for estimating size of key populations, and inclusion of biomarker measurements in surveys.

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HIV Self-Testing is Associated with Increased Uptake and Frequency of Testing in RCTs  Health

HIV Self-Testing is associated with increased uptake and frequency of testing in RCTs. Such increases, particularly among those at risk who may not otherwise test, will likely identify more HIV-positive individuals as compared to standard testing services alone.

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Food Pantries Can Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice  Health

Whether it be displaying cabbage in an attractive bin, making whole wheat bread visible at multiple points throughout the food pantry line or adding a shelf tag that explains the health benefits of oatmeal, subtle changes to a food pantry environment have been shown to encourage clients to make healthful choices. Read More »

Tobacco packaging design for reducing tobacco use  Health

Cochrane Review finds standardised packaging may reduce smoking prevalence.

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How to Talk about Home Energy Upgrades  Environment

It's not just about money. People invest in home energy upgrades for a variety of reasons. This report explores these motivations and unveils, based partly on a representative survey of nearly 2,000 homeowners, the best strategies for encouraging them to invest in energy efficiency. Includes a tip sheet.

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Both Diet Change and More Efficient Farming Practices Required for Sustainability  EnvironmentHealth

Changing consumers'diets and using more efficient farming methods globally are both essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environment, a new study says.

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Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths  Safety

A "Vital Signs" overview of motor vehicle crash deaths in the United States and what can be done to reduce the number of them. Read More »

Study Shows Texting as Good as Medication at Improving Type 2 Diabetes Management  Health

Low-income Hispanics with Type 2 diabetes who received health-related text messages every day for six months saw improvements in their blood sugar levels that equaled those resulting from some glucose-lowering medications, according to researchers with the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute.

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

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