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

Latest News

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

Stay on the Ground  Environment

The most effective approach to-date at shifting air travel to train travel, and also at promoting the sale of carbon offsets for airplane travel, this approach could also work well for other behaviors that are perceived by the audience as clearly important to do, yet are not being adopted by many people.

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Landmark Case Study Bologna’s Bella Mossa  EnvironmentHealth

Bologna’s Bella Mossa program awarded participants points for walking, cycling or using public transport. Points could be redeemed for discounts or payment towards merchandise and services from 85 retailers, including supermarkets, sports retailers, bike stores, opticians, bookshops, cinemas, restaurants and bars. In 2018, 10,000 people reported taking 995,000 trips by alternative transportation methods, totalling 3.7 million kilometres and saving 711 tonnes of CO2. The program won CIVITAS’s “Bold Measure" award in 2017.

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Landmark Case Study Energy Connect  Environment

Energy Connect shows that energy savings and occupant comfort can be achieved quickly and persistently in large, complex facilities when building operators and mechanics are empowered to solve building performance issues. Five interventions were tested 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 12.5% attributable to Energy Connect, and all pilot facilities saved energy. Designated a Landmark Case Study in 2018.

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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 Ohm Connect’s #OhmHour Peak Time Energy Conservation Program  Environment

OhmConnect pays participants to save energy when it’s most beneficial to the grid and their wallets. On average, participants save 50-100 kWh at peak times per year per household. This case study highlights three innovative elements of the program: a focus on reducing peak demand with remarkable frequency, flexibility and precision; rich gamification features that encourage user participation; and an option to automate energy savings that was not available until the recent installation of smart meters and widespread availability of smart devices. Designated 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).  Designated in 2017. 

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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. Designated in 2017. 

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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 Brisbane's Active Schools Travel Program  EnvironmentHealthSafety

By the end of 2017, Brisbane’s Active Schools Travel Program had engaged over 157 primary schools to reduce single car trips by up to 35% and increase walking trips correspondingly. Half of the students at participating schools travel to school by active means, twice the state average. This program illustrates good use of safety instruction and practice, stamped student passports, norm appeals, competitions, and three levels of recognition and incentives. Designated a Landmark Case Study in 2018. 

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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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Landmark Case Study ClimateSmart Home Service, Queensland, Australia  Environment

Once a resident signs up for Queensland’s ClimateSmart Home Service, a licensed electrician visits the home, installs a variety of energy-efficiency products, conducts an energy audit, provides recommendations, and leaves behind materials and prompts. The information collected is then used to create a customized plan that is sent to the homeowner approximately six weeks after the visit, with different audience segments receiving different messaging. A voluntary household energy challenge, wireless power monitors and an on-line portal help motivate and empower participants. ClimateSmart was designated a Landmark case study in 2011.

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Landmark Case Study Get Energized, Iowa!  Environment

Get Energized, Iowa! is a highly replicable community-based program that encouraged rural Iowa communities to compete against one another to achieve high gas and electricity savings, based on actual usage.  Designated in 2017. 

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Landmark Case Study Opower’s Home Energy Report, Minnesota  Environment

This program is a great example of the use of ongoing individualized feedback and prompts, coupled with norm appeals. Opower helps individual utility companies to send customized home energy use feedback reports to their residential utility customers. The full-colour reports include a comparison with other similar households, offer tips and strategies to reduce energy use, and provide seasonal energy consumption information. A web portal offers personalized insights and tips, and tools for choosing an optimal energy rate plan. In addition, Opower offers utilities the opportunity to send text messages directly to customers to alert them when their energy consumption is high and offer ways to reduce it. Updated as of October, 2014.

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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 Burlington’s Ice Rink Energy Competition  Environment

The City of Burlington's Ice Rink Energy Competition employs a low cost, easily replicable approach to significantly reduce energy consumption, associated greenhouse gases (GHG) and energy costs. A friendly competition to reduce energy at eight of the city's ice rinks helps change behaviours among staff and users, improves facility performance, and extends equipment life without sacrificing facility service levels or user satisfaction. Designated a Landmark case study in 2013.

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Most Recent Fitness Resources

Talking About Taking Airplanes  Environment

This guide outlines research and tips on talking about airplane trips and climate change.

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Effectiveness of physical activity promoting technology-based distance interventions compared to usual care. Systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression  EnvironmentHealth

Technology-based delivery of interventions seems to be more effective than usual care in promoting physical activity, particularly in interventions targeting health care patients.

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Why we're rethinking the images we use for our climate journalism  Environment

Guardian picture editor Fiona Shields explains why The Guardian will be using fewer polar bears and more people to illustrate its coverage of the climate emergency Read More »

Students who feel a greater sense of belonging with their peers, family and school community are less likely to become bullies.  Safety

Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that students who feel a greater sense of belonging with their peers, family and school community are less likely to become bullies. Their findings suggest that parents and teachers should consider ways to create a supportive and accepting environment both at home and at school.

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Children can foster climate change concern among their parents  Environment

This study looks at an educational intervention designed to build climate change concern among parents indirectly through their middle school-aged children in North Carolina, USA. Parents of children in the treatment group expressed higher levels of climate change concern than parents in the control group. The effects were strongest among male parents and conservative parents, who, consistent with previous research, displayed the lowest levels of climate concern before the intervention. Daughters appeared to be especially effective in influencing parents. Our results suggest that intergenerational learning may overcome barriers to building climate concern.

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Limiting global warming to 1.5 to 2.0°C—A unique and necessary role for health professionals  EnvironmentHealth

 This short paper was written to engage health professionals in our efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, Its central message is that climate solutions are health solutions, and health solutions are economic solutions. Health professionals are among the people best positioned to make sure that the public and policy makers understand this.

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Test2  Environment


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Checking  EnvironmentHealth


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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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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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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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Engaging Teachers to Communicate Scientific Consensus on Climate Change and Other Topics  EnvironmentHealthSafety

When consensus about a risk or mitigating behavior is newly developed and/or not clearly understood, communicating that consensus through teachers / instructors can be critical. While this blog entry focuses on climate change, it may also apply to new understandings in many topic areas.

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Fostering Forest Conservation and Management among Woodland Owners  Environment

A summary of time-tested behavior-change theories and models, and lessons from social movements, that can be used to help foster forest conservation actions and a culture of sustainable forestry among woodland owners. More broadly, the findings are relevant to a range of programs promoting multiple, complicated or long term behavior changes.

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(Energy) Behavior Change Programs: Status & Impacts  Environment

This report reviews the variety of energy behavior program options, and the degree to which they successfully change behavior and save energy.

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