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

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

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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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 integrates climate education and energy efficiency, with linkages to hands-on job training and career development.

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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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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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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 and was designated a Landmark case study in 2019.

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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 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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Most Recent Fitness Resources

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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The Rebound Effect  Environment

An assessment of the evidence for rebound effects and net economy-wide energy savings from improved (building and transportation) energy efficiency.

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Utility Energy Efficiency Program Performance from a Climate Change Perspective: a comparison of structural and behavioral programs  Environment

Behavioral energy efficiency programs can reduce the same amount of damages from carbon emissions as structural retrofit programs, but in less time and at lower cost. They can  also further boost savings from structural programs.

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Checking  Safety


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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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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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