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

Energy Cat Game (Copy 2)  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%. This is a PARTIAL DUPLICATE listing of this case study because of a technical issue with the first copy. 

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Landmark Case Study Solarize Boosts Installations and Transforms Solar Markets Across America  Environment

Solarize is a group purchase program designed to simplify and reduce the cost of investing in solar energy. The campaign organizes a volunteer committee of residents to competitively select a solar installer who agrees to set pricing. At a series of free educational workshops participants can learn about the technology, incentives, and financing options. Interested, participants can then sign up for a free site assessment and are guaranteed the Solarize price, if they sign a contract within the campaign timeline. Customers can save as much as 25% of the total cost of installation. This approach enables grassroot and other solar advocates to build motivation and engagement over time, reduce key barriers to action, convert “interest” into “action”, and permanently transform the market for solar installations in their communities. Resulting installations generated 62,000,000 kWh of clean energy supply each year. Designated a Landmark case study by our Building Energy peer review panel in 2021.

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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 Virgin Atlantic’s Airline Captains Improve Fuel Efficiency  Environment

Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) conducted an eight-month pilot in 2014 to test the potential roles and impacts of monitoring, performance information, personal targets, and prosocial incentives on the fuel-use behavior of their captains. All 335 of VAA’s captains were part of the pilot, and they were randomly assigned to four separate treatment groups. Since the pilot, the approach has become business as usual at VAA, and the technology was commercialized through Signol and updated to a web-app and email rather than post. Designated a Landmark case study in 2021.

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Landmark Case Study Climate Matters Program for TV Weathercasters  Environment

Climate Matters trains and supports American TV weathercasters to report on the local impacts of climate change while reflecting current scientific knowledge and concerns. The program provides participating newscasters with weekly story packages with local data and broadcast-quality graphics that visualize the data. Because of an overt conflict in the meteorology community about opposing views of climate change, the program engaged a conflict mediator who worked with small groups of opinion-leading weathercasters to surface and work through the entrenched conflicts. As climate reporting became increasingly normative, the program ensured that everyone in the weathercasting community knew the behaviors were gaining in popularity. As of 31 October 2020, there were 968 participating weathercasters in 483 local TV stations, in 92% of all US media markets and 99 of the top 100 media markets. Viewers exposed to their climate education became more likely to understand that climate change is already a 'here, now, us' problem. Designated a Landmark case study in 2021.

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Landmark Case Study Day Zero: Cape Town Includes 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. Designated a Landmark case study in 2021.

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Landmark Case Study WaterSense Adds Up to Big Water and Energy Savings  Environment

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering Americans a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, homes, and services. WaterSense labeled products, which are independently certified to use at least 20% less water and perform as well or better than standard models, have been on the market since 2007. As of 2021 there are more than 30,000 labeled models, including products used in residential and commercial bathrooms, and outdoor irrigation. EPA’s WaterSense program has also certified over 3,000 homes with WaterSense labeled fixtures and water-efficient features. By 2020 it had saved 5.3 trillion gallons of water and 603 billion kWh of electricity. Designated a Landmark case study by our Building Energy peer review panel in 2021.

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Landmark Case Study TDM at Seattle Children’s Hospital  Environment

Seattle Children’s Hospital has operated a widely recognized trip reduction program since 1995. This program is an early and successful example of providing drivers with cash incentives to offset losing free parking (“parking cash out”). It is also one of the few ongoing examples of a program that pays people if they take a non-SOV way to work. Between 1995 and 2017, the percentage of employees who drive to work alone dropped from 73% to 33%. Further, the program’s commuting perks have helped attract & retain quality employees, and the program has enabled the hospital to avoid spending $20 million to build new parking facilities. Designated a Landmark (best practice) case study in 2021.

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Carbon Cure  Environment

To meet global greenhouse gas targets, we will need to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, not just slow down emissions. Carbon Cure was designed to promote a shift in specification and purchasing behaviors across the construction supply chain, to recapture a significant amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help abate climate change. This case study focuses on how the company has promoted the rapid adoption by concrete plants of a new type of concrete – one that in its manufacturing process, removes and permanently stores significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. By 2021 it had enabled the capture of 142,046,000 lb. of CO2 over nine years, an average of 15,782,889 lb. / year.

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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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Canada-Wide Ban on Menthol Cigarettes  Health

Bans on menthol cigarettes across Canada from 2015 to 2017 led to a significant increase in the numbers of smokers who attempted to quit and who quit successfully, while reducing relapse rates among former smokers. Canada was the one of the first countries to implement a ban on menthol cigarettes, and the first country where such a ban was evaluated.

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Landmark Case Study Heat Loss Images, Norm Appeals Raise Impacts in Medicine Hat  Environment

A Randomized Controlled Trial tested the impacts of providing consumers, on their monthly utility bills, with high-resolution infrared images of their houses, information about their heat loss relative to their neighbors, and estimated savings from improving their home’s insulation and air tightness. This treatment was twice as effective as a traditional Home Energy Report (HER) treatment. This demonstrates the power of visual cues that help make the intangible more vivid, concrete, and actionable. This case study also illustrates how norm appeals can backfire when descriptive norms are provided to those who are already doing “better” than most, without also providing an affirming injunctive norm. Designated a Landmark case study in 2020.

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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. Designated a Landmark case study in 2020.

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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.) Designated a Landmark case study in 2020.

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Way to Go Durham  Environment

This case study covers the formative research and pilot testing of the City of Durham’s Way to Go program with City staff and local university students. It illustrates the value of A/B testing and Randomized Control Trials for evaluating alternative program tactics. It exemplifies the effective use of personalized commute plans distributed en-masse and shows that they can have a substantial impact on travel behavior, even with no added incentives.

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Most Recent Fitness Resources

Combination of Walkability and Greenery Boosts Activity Levels  EnvironmentHealth

People are most physically active when their environments are both highly walkable and very green, according to a study by Marquet et al (2022), published in Environment International. 

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Getting Practical: Integrating Social Norms into Social and Behavior Change Programs  Health

Getting Practical uses examples from family planning and reproductive health to illustrate how to integrate social norms into your program.

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Strategies for Engaging Parents in Active School Travel  EnvironmentHealthSafety

Parents and caregivers play a key role in determining if a child will walk or wheel to school. This report summarizes barriers and strategies for better engaging parents and caregivers, related to active school travel.

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Calling Climate Change a 'Crisis' May Not Do What You Think  Environment

Focusing on and using terms like "climate emergency" and "climate crisis" can backfire if they increase fear, decrease efficacy beliefs and hope, and reduce news credibility.

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The Emergence of Employees' Change Readiness for Energy-Conservation Behavior During Guided Group Discussions  Environment

This study focuses on methods for increasing employees' readiness to change their behaviors in favor of energy conservation, specifically examining the use of guided group discussions (GGDs). It finds that solution-focused communication elicits change readiness in employees, whereas problem-focused communication prompts resistance to change. It further shows that employees can motivate their co-workers to express 'green' intentions: when employees verbalize statements in favor of energy saving, this increases other employees' change readiness, while verbalized statements against energy saving have the opposite effect.

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Who Doesn't Mind Waiting? Examining the relationships between waiting attitudes and person- and travel-related attributes  EnvironmentHealthSafety

Longer commute times and distances are correlated with negative attitudes toward waiting, while commuters with pro-transit, pro-density, and pro-active transportation attitudes tend to have positive attitudes toward waiting. Additionally, those with preferences for multitasking in general or at their jobs can tolerate waiting better. (California data)

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Reducing Food Waste by Promoting Ugly Fruit  Environment

Food waste and associated greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by helping consumers embrace "ugly fruit", which is typically equivalent nutritionally to regular fruit. Read on for guidance on how to do this.

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Online Menu Placement Affects Healthy Choices  Health

When healthier menu options were placed first on an online menu, they were chosen more often. However, the order of pacement had no effect with physical (rather than online) menus.

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Shifting Dietary Choices Towards Vegetarian Food  EnvironmentHealth

Shifting dietary choices towards vegetarian food is an urgent challenge given the environmental impact of livestock production and imminent need to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An online randomized control trial found that meat eaters were significantly more likely to choose a vegetarian meal when presented with a menu with 75% vegetarian items, but not when half (50%) were vegetarian. It is thought that availability may have increased vegetarian food choice by implicitly suggesting behavioral norms or by providing consumers with a wider range of desirable options.

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Behaviourally Effective Communications for Invasive Animals Management: A Practical Guide  Environment

This guide is for practitioners who are developing and delivering communications related to invasive animals.

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Tech Resources for Climate Change Programs  Environment

This web page lists free resources provided by the tech community in the following areas: climate change projections around the world; real-time visualization of electricity consumption and resulting CO2 emissions; and calculation of the amount of the carbon footprint or amount of greenhouse gases produced by individual activities, an individual building, or an entire company.

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Resources for Those at the Intersection of Behavior and the Environment  Environment

This page highlights RARE's resources for those at the intersection of behavior and the environment.

  • Behavior Change Interventions in Practice: A Synthesis of Criteria, Approaches, Case Studies, and Indicators.
  • The Science of Changing Behavior for Environmental Outcomes: A Literature Review.
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The Social Norms Atlas: Understanding global social norms and related concepts  HealthSafety

The Social Norms Atlas is a collective effort led by the Social Norms Learning Collaborative to foster awareness, understanding, and the ability to address a variety of social norms as they relate to development outcomes.

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Effect of Product Placement on Purchase and Diet  Health

Storewide confectionery sales declined, and fruit and vegetable sales increased, when nonfood items and water were placed at checkouts and aisle ends opposite, and an expanded fruit and vegetable section was repositioned near the store entrance.

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Emissions Disclosure Requirements Lower CO2 Output  Environment

When large power plants were required to disclose their carbon dioxide output, emissions fell by more than 7%, while at some small plants, exempt from disclosure, emissions rose at least 25%. This illustrates the Hawthorne Effect and the power of Norm Appeals.

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