Social marketing boosts exercise

Oct. 4, 2012 at 3:51 PM

BRISTOL, England, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- British researchers said social marketing -- using the same marketing principles that sell products to "sell" ideas -- was effective in boosting exercise.

"Good levels of physical activity are important for the prevention of a range of chronic diseases. These conditions are more prevalent in low-income areas where physical activity levels were consistently lower," lead author Janet Withall of the University of Bristol's School for Policy Studies said in a statement. "The public health benefits of increasing physical activity in this group were clear."

The researchers designed a six-month social marketing campaign for a new physical activity program entitled Fit and Fab -- comprising five sessions, each delivered once a week in a deprived area of Bristol, England.

The research team used promotional techniques, which included outdoor banners, street leafleting, leaflet distribution via schools, community groups, a poster campaign, local press, two taster sessions, a loyalty scheme, campaign blog and a text campaign, to proactively promote the program.

The results, published in the journal BMC Public Health, showed positive findings with recruitment into intervention sessions significantly greater than into pre-existing and control area sessions the study said.

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