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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Please refer to the Active Living Topic Resources page, which shares many of the same entries. 


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
 

Most Recent Fitness Case Studies

Landmark Case Study City of Austin’s Leave Time Travel Incentive  EnvironmentHealth

The City of Austin reduced employee commute travel by one million vehicle miles within six months of making its Leave Time Reward (LTR) a permanent incentive. During this period, the percentage of drive-alone trips fell from 53% to 41%. Attribution of these impacts to the City’s time off incentive policy is strengthened because that policy was introduced in the pilot study, then withdrawn after the pilot, then later reintroduced for the permanent program (Reversal Design.)

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Landmark Case Study Seattle’s Just One Trip Phase II  EnvironmentHealth

Just One Trip Phase II illustrates the use of Propensity Modelling / Predictive Analysis, Street Ambassadors, Quality Online User Experience (UX), and trip planning to reduce the proportion of single-occupant car trips in Seattle WA, USA. It engaged over 21,000 people and on average participants reduced four drive-alone trips per week per person.

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London Hydro’s Price Plan Pilot Cuts Peak Use  Environment

London Hydro ran a Randomized Control Trial to test the impacts of real time information (RT), and critical peak pricing (CPP) on peak time residential energy use. CPP participants delivered summer On-Peak and Mid-Peak energy savings that were statistically significant at the 90% confidence level. Adding RT to CPP did not make much difference. Both groups reduced their daily On-Peak consumption by approximately 5% on average, and their Mid-Peak consumption by approximately 3% on average.

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Energy Cat Game  Environment

The Energy Cat computer game was piloted with social housing residents in Plymouth, United Kingdom, to motivate and help them learn about affordable, energy-saving steps they could take in their homes. The game provided an average electricity saving of 3.46% and an average gas saving of 7.48%.

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Landmark Case Study California’s Energy Conservation Competition  Environment

Participants in California’s Energy Conservation Competition work to change energy conservation behaviors in their schools relating to lighting, plug-loads, and mechanical systems. They also develop campaigns to encourage fellow students to communicate with teachers, peers, and administrators about energy conservation practices. This comprehensive program cuts school energy bills by 5% to 15%, and integrates climate education and energy efficiency, with linkages to hands-on job training and career development. Designated a Landmark case study in 2020.

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Day Zero: Cape Town Uses Fear Appeal to Avoid Running Out of Water  Environment


Fear appeals must be carefully considered as they can too-easily backfire and discourage people from taking in and acting on our messages. And why spread fear unnecessarily? This case study illustrates an appropriate and effective use of a fear appeal to reduce water consumption in Cape Town South Africa. It tracks 30 years, from the time the City predicted severe water shortages to the point where the taps nearly ran dry and this city of four million people reduced water use enough to avoid disaster. 

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It’s About Respect - Reducing Sexual Violence in Washington  HealthSafety

It’s about Respect is a program to prevent sexual violence among middle school students. This case study reports on the program’s initial pilot at one school, compared with a control school.

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Opting Out in Germany for Non-Renewable Energy  Environment

While many people in Germany say they would use green energy if presented with a choice, very few consumers do so. In contrast, most people have been using green energy in a few German municipalities where citizens have had to opt out for non-renewable energy supplies rather than having to opt-in to get renewable ones. This case study presents their experiences and illustrates the value of randomized control trials (RCTs) for measuring program impacts.

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Norway’s Promotion of Electric Vehicles  Environment

Several policies / incentives, in place over an extended period, have made Norwegians more likely to purchase electric vehicles (EVs) than people in any other country. These incentives have included: exemption from vehicle registration and high purchase taxes, reduced road tolls, free parking, and access to some bus lanes. A similar long-term approach could be adapted for other big-ticket purchasing behaviors where the impact justifies the expense – for example energy-efficient home / building retrofits and appliances. Norway's electric cars are close to zero-emission as 98% of its electricity came from hydropower.

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BART Perks 2  Environment

BART Perks Phase II used a Smartphone-based platform to incentivize shifts in public transit trips that reduced peak demand. The approach proved cost-effective relative to the average fare associated with each freed-up seat. At full-scale, the approach was predicted to be cost-effective relative to purchasing and maintaining more transit cars. This six-month randomized control study took place in San Francisco during the first half of 2019.

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Port of San Diego  Environment

The Port of San Diego’s (Port’s) Green Business Network (Network) is an integrated energy efficiency and sustainability program that educates tenant businesses on sustainable business practices and identifies resources to implement building and operational improvements. The Green Business Network provides a forum for businesses across the Port’s five member cities to network on sustainability best practices. Between 2010 and 2017, participating businesses reduced energy use by 10.8 million kWh and 300,000 therms.

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The Bullying Prevention Program  HealthSafety

2018 Overview, Pennsylvania USA

The Bullying Prevention Program (BPP) reduced bullying problems in Norwegian schools by up to 50 percent. Actively involving students, school staff, and parents in restructuring their school environment created a safe and learning one, and lessened the number of opportunities and rewards for bullying. BPP has been replicated in American, Canadian, and European schools with positive, although less dramatic results.

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Landmark Case Study RE100  Environment

 

RE100 is a global, collaborative initiative that is accelerating a shift in corporate energy purchasing to reduce global carbon emissions and buy energy from renewable sources. Members commit to public disclosure of progress, with third-party verification providing social proof and accountability. Participation also involves inter-company comparisons and norming to a common goal of 100% renewable electricity. High-profile external public relations events enhance value for membership and sustain pressure for member companies to keep commitments, thereby ensuring persistence of campaign impacts. Designated a Landmark Case Study in 2019.

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Landmark Case Study Europe’s Energy Neighborhoods  Environment

Europe’s Energy Neighbourhoods program engaged neighbourhoods to ‘bet’ with their municipalities that they could reduce energy use by at least 9% over a four-month time period, with no investments in technology allowed. Each neighbourhood was supported by an “Energy Master”, an enthusiastic individual who acted as coordinator for the group and who received specific training to help their group make its energy savings. Those groups that made savings of 9% or more were rewarded with certificates and prizes, and received local media attention for their efforts. Designated a Landmark Case Study in 2019.

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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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Most Recent Fitness Resources

Pester Power: Examining Children's Influence as an Active Intervention Ingredient  Health

Positive daycare experiences with healthy foods plus a fun character can influence children to pester their parents for healthier food at home.

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Effectiveness of physical activity promoting technology-based distance interventions compared to usual care. Systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression (2017)  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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A Meta-Analysis of the Evaluations of Social Marketing Interventions Addressing Smoking, Alcohol Drinking, Physical Activity, and Eating (2017)  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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Social marketing interventions aiming to increase physical activity among adults: A systematic review (2017)  Health

The results of the current study indicate that increasing the number of benchmark criteria used in an intervention to at least four increases the chances of achieving positive behavioural outcomes.

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Effectiveness of Social Marketing Interventions to Promote Physical Activity Among Adults: A Systematic Review (2016)  Health

Findings revealed that the presence of more social marketing benchmarks in interventions increased the likelihood of success in promoting physical activity. The presence of more than 3 benchmarks improved the success of the interventions; specifically, all interventions were successful when more than 7.5 benchmarks were present. Further, primary formative research, core product, actual product, augmented product, promotion, and behavioural competition all had a significant influence on the effectiveness of interventions.

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Nature contact, nature connectedness and associations with health, wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviours  EnvironmentHealth

This study investigated the relationships between three types of nature contact, psychological connectedness, health, subjective wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviours. It suggests that interventions increasing both contact with, and connection to nature, are likely to be needed in order to achieve synergistic improvements to human and planetary health.

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Tools for Safety Management  Safety

This paper explores the use of behavioral tools for managing safety in the process industries. 

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CrimeSolutions  Safety

CrimeSolutions is intended to be a central, reliable resource to help practitioners and policymakers understand what works in justice-related programs and practices. Its purpose is to assist in practical decision making and program implementation by gathering information on specific justice-related programs and practices and reviewing the existing evaluation and meta-analysis research against standard criteria.

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Behaviour Change Techniques in Brief Interventions to Prevent HIV, STI and Unintended Pregnancies: A systematic review  Health

This guideline recommends the use of brief behaviour intervention and communication programmes to promote sexual health and to prevent HIV, STIs, and unintended pregnancies in primary health services, particularly sexual and reproductive health services. Based on a review of 37 included studies.

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Trends and Sex Disparities in School Bullying Victimization Among U.S. Youth, 2011 to 2019  Safety

Based on the U.S. national Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 72,605 high school students, this study focused on trends in traditional victimization and cybervictimization from 2011 to 2019.

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Food Waste Management: Solving the Wicked Problem  Environment

This document provides a much-needed framework for managing food waste, including food surplus, food loss and food waste.It also provides an overview of the literature on drivers of in-home food waste and translate them into guidelines for effective intervention development.

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Wasting Food is Disgusting: Evidence from behavioral and neuroimaging study of moral judgment of food-wasting behavior  Environment

This paper claims to be the first to demonstrate that food-wasting is considered immoral on both behavioral and neuronal levels, and that moral judgment regarding wasting food is primarily related to moral judgment of disgusting behavior.

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Enhancing Domestic Water Conservation Behaviour: A review of empirical studies on influencing tactics  Environment

This paper is a review of empirical studies about Behaviour Influencing Tactics (BITs) for domestic water conservation. The BITs are: knowledge transfer, self-efficacy, social norms, framing, tailoring, emotional shortcuts, priming, & nudging.

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The Debunking Handbook  EnvironmentHealth

Misinformation can be a significant barrier to action. It damages society in a number of ways, having consequences for public health, the environment, and democracy. But undoing misinformation is difficult! Fortunately researchers have published a torrent of research into how to counter misinformation over the last decade and the field has made considerable progress.

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Effect of Sustained Smoking Cessation Counseling by Telephone and Provision of Medication vs Shorter-term Counseling and Medication Advice on Smoking Abstinence in Patients Recently Diagnosed With Cancer  Health

In this randomized clinical trial of 303 patients, conducted at 2 National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, sustained telephone counseling over 6 months and provision of free medication compared with 4-week telephone counseling and medication advice resulted in 6-month biochemically confirmed quit rates of 34.5% vs 21.5%, a difference that was statistically significant. Among patients recently diagnosed with cancer, sustained cessation counseling and free medication may increase the likelihood of smoking abstinence compared with shorter-term counseling, but the generalizability of the study findings is uncertain and requires further research.

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