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Open AccessArticle

“Follow the Whistle: Physical Activity Is Calling You”: Evaluation of Implementation and Impact of a Portuguese Nationwide Mass Media Campaign to Promote Physical Activity

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Programa Nacional para a Promoção da Atividade Física, Direção-Geral da Saúde, 1049 Lisbon, Portugal
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Faculdade de Educação Física e Desporto, CIDEFES, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, 1749 Lisbon, Portugal
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CIPER, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, 1495 Cruz Quebrada Dafundo, Portugal
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Católica Research Centre for Psychological—Family and Social Wellbeing, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, 1649 Lisbon, Portugal
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NOVA National School of Public Health, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 1099 Lisbon, Portugal
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School of Public Health and Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia
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Research Centre in Physical Activity and Health, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, 4200 Porto, Portugal
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EPIUnit—Instituto de Saúde Pública, Universidade do Porto, 4050 Porto, Portugal
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Direção-Geral da Saúde, 1049 Lisbon, Portugal
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8062; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218062
Received: 25 August 2020 / Revised: 2 October 2020 / Accepted: 28 October 2020 / Published: 2 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
To raise perceived capability (C), opportunity (O) and motivation (M) for physical activity (PA) behaviour (B) among adults, the Portuguese Directorate-General of Health developed a mass media campaign named “Follow the Whistle”, based on behaviour change theory and social marketing principles. Comprehensive formative and process evaluation suggests this media-led campaign used best-practice principles. The campaign adopted a population-wide approach, had clear behavioural goals, and clear multi-strategy implementation. We assessed campaign awareness and initial impact using pre (n = 878, 57% women) and post-campaign (n = 1319, 58% women) independent adult population samples via an online questionnaire, comprising socio-demographic factors, campaign awareness and recall, and psychosocial and behavioural measures linked to the COM-B model. PA was assessed with IPAQ and the Activity Choice Index. The post-campaign recall was typical of levels following national campaigns (24%). Post-campaign measures were higher for key theory-based targets (all p < 0.05), namely self-efficacy, perceived opportunities to be more active and intrinsic motivation. The impact on social norms and self-efficacy was moderated by campaign awareness. Concerning PA, effects were found for vigorous activity (p < 0.01), but not for incidental activity. Overall the campaign impacted key theory-based intermediate outcomes, but did not influence incidental activity, which highlights the need for sustained and repeated campaign efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; healthy lifestyles; mass media campaign; evaluation; social marketing physical activity; healthy lifestyles; mass media campaign; evaluation; social marketing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Silva, M.N.; Godinho, C.; Salavisa, M.; Owen, K.; Santos, R.; Silva, C.S.; Mendes, R.; Teixeira, P.J.; Freitas, G.; Bauman, A. “Follow the Whistle: Physical Activity Is Calling You”: Evaluation of Implementation and Impact of a Portuguese Nationwide Mass Media Campaign to Promote Physical Activity. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8062.

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