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

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.

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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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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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Most Recent Fitness Resources

A History of Household Recycling in Canada and the USA  Environment

History of household blue box recycling in Canada (since 1974)

History of household recycling in the USA (back to 1939) 

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A Meta-Analysis of the Evaluations of Social Marketing Interventions Addressing Smoking, Alcohol Drinking, Physical Activity, and Eating  Health

This 2017 study found that 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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A National Strategy to Reduce Food Waste at the Consumer Level  Environment

This 2020 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.

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A Review of Current Practices to Increase Chlamydia Screening in the Community--a consumer-centered social marketing perspective  Health

Of 18 interventions identified in 2015, quality of evidence was low. Proportional screening rates varied, ranging from: 30.9 to 62.5% in educational settings (n = 4), 4.8 to 63% in media settings (n = 6) and from 5.7 to 44.5% in other settings (n = 7). Assessment against benchmark criteria found that interventions incorporating social marketing principles were more likely to achieve positive results, yet few did this comprehensively.

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A Review of Evaluations of Social Marketing Campaigns in Occupational Injury, Disease or Disability Prevention  Safety

This 2017 review examined published evaluation and research studies on occupational health and safety social marketing campaigns. One key finding is that "campaigns based exclusively on mass media communications do not appear to be as effective in reducing the incidence of work-related injury, disease or disability as campaigns that integrate public communications strategies with companion programs involving consultation services, inspection and enforcement, or education and training."

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A Systematic Review of Behavioural Interventions Promoting Healthy Eating Among Older People  Health

The aim of this 2018 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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AA055  Safety

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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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Best Workplaces For Commuters  EnvironmentHealth

This site offers extensive case studies, tools, resources and research related to workplace commuting initiatives. The Best Workplaces for Commuters program provides national recognition for qualifying employers in the United States.

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Bike Lanes Key to Reducing Traffic Congestion  Environment

More bicycle trips mean fewer car trips, which can mean less congestion for people in cars and buses. But when bicycle use rises but cities don't add bike lanes, traffic congestion actually gets worse.

 

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Bike Train Guides  Environment

This page links to a number of guides on Bike Train Implementation. A Bike Train is an organized bike ride to and from school. It is supervised by chaperones who work with students to assure everyone's safety and fun. Students may begin riding to school from one designated location, or be picked up at designated stops along the way.

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Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development  Safety

This is a registry of scientifically proven and scalable interventions that prevent or reduce the likelihood of antisocial behavior and promote a healthy course of youth development and adult maturity.

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Both Diet Change and More Efficient Farming Practices Required for Sustainability  EnvironmentHealth

Changing consumers' diets and using more efficient farming methods globally are both essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environment, a new study says.

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Brief interventions to prevent sexually transmitted infections suitable for in-service use: A systematic review  Health

A small number of interventions were found to be effective in reducing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among young people and in promoting self-reported STI-risk behavior change in men who have sex with men.

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Bringing the Concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture to Life  Environment

This report offers the most complete overview to date of agricultural technologies considered climate-smart around the world, including specific barriers to their adoption.

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