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

We apologize but THIS PAGE IS NOT WORKING PROPERLY and we are having trouble fixing it. In the meantime....

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

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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%.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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. 

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

arrow iconMORE »

Most Recent Fitness Resources

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.

Read More »

Solar Panels are Contagious  Environment

Using satellite imagery and machine learning techniques, this study finds that the density of solar panels within the shortest measured radius of an address is the most important factor in determining the likelihood of that address having a solar panel. The findings support the model of distance-related social diffusion, and suggest priority should be given to seeding panels in areas where few exist. Read More »

Reinforcement Schedules for Energy Efficiency and Climate Sustainability  Environment

This article summarizes factors to consider when designing behavioral reinforcements, such as scheduling, shaping and delays.

Read More »

Should You Target Disposable Bags or Plastic Bags?  Environment

Regulation of goods associated with negative environmental externalities may decrease consumption of the targeted product, but may be ineffective at reducing the externality itself if close substitutes are left unregulated.

Read More »

A National Strategy to Reduce Food Waste at the Consumer Level (2020)  Environment

This report summarizes a consensus study by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine of ways to reduce U.S. food waste at the consumer level. Approximately 30 percent of the edible food produced in the United States is wasted and a significant portion of this waste occurs at the consumer level.

Read More »

Enhancing domestic water conservation behaviour: A review of empirical studies on influencing tactics  Environment

This paper, published in 2019, is a great summary of what works and under what conditions, based on 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. The literature suggests that a conjunctive use of a variety of BITs into overall strategy is required. Repetitive messages, primes, and nudges that reinforce previously introduced normative messages, tailored feedback, and knowledge, seem to be promising approaches to sustaining water conservation behaviour in the long run.

Read More »

School Gardens Linked with Kids Eating More Vegetables  Health

Getting children to eat their vegetables can seem like an insurmountable task, but nutrition researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found one way: school gardens and lessons on using what's grown in them. This cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) study of 3,135 children found that those students in the gardening, nutrition and cooking classes ate, on average, a half serving more vegetables per day than they did before the program.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

Effectiveness of Physical Activity Promoting Technology-Based Distance Interventions Compared to Usual Care (Systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression from 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. 

Read More »

Collective Efficacy Beliefs and the Greta Thunberg Effect  EnvironmentHealth

This study indicates that high-profile public advocates like Greta Thunberg can shape collective efficacy beliefs and motivate collective action, but their effect is likely stronger among those with a shared political ideology.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

Tools for Safety Management  Safety

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

Read More »

arrow iconMORE »

Search the Topic Resources

Click for Advanced Search »