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WV Walks replicated the Wheeling Walks community-wide campaign methodology to promote physical activity.
A social marketing intervention promoted walking among insufficiently active 40- to 65-year-olds throughout the television media market in north-central West Virginia. The intervention included participatory planning, an 8-week mass media-based campaign, and policy and environmental activities. Pre and post random-digit-dial cohort telephone surveys were conducted at baseline and immediately postcampaign in intervention and comparison regions.
The campaign resulted in maximal message awareness in north-central WV and demonstrated a significant increase in walking behavior represented by an absolute shift of 12% of the target population from insufficiently active to active (≥30 minutes, 5 days per week), versus the comparison community (adjusted odds ratio 1.82, CI: 1.05−3.17). Policy and environmental changes were also evident.
This replication study increases our confidence that the initial effects observed in the Wheeling Walks intervention are generalizable to other similar rural communities.
Reger-Nash, Cooper, and Simon are with the Dept of Community Medicine, Brann the Dept of Communication Studies, and Leyden the Institute of Public Affairs, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506. Bauman and Chey are with the Center for Physical Activity and Health, University of Sydney, Australia 2006.