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Women’s understanding of “moderate-intensity” physical activity (MPA) as presented in the media is not well-understood. This study assessed whether women who are presented a mass-media message about MPA can demonstrate a moderate-intensity walking pace without practicing this pace first.
Insufficiently active women (n = 75, age 40 ± 12 years, 76% White) were shown a mass-media description of a MPA recommendation. Forty-one were randomized to also practice a moderate-intensity (55%−70% of maximum heart rate) walk. One month later, participants were asked to demonstrate a 10-minute moderate-intensity walk. Groups were compared on the proportion of participants who walked ≥10 minutes at a moderate intensity.
At posttest, more participants who received practice at baseline walked at a moderate-intensity ≥10 minutes than those who received no practice (P < .05).
To understand MPA, it is not enough to simply hear and read a description of MPA. It is essential to practice MPA.
Rice is with the Missoula City County Health Dept, Missoula, MT 59801. Heesch is with the School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia. Dinger is with the Dept of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019. Fields is with University of Oklahoma Health Science Center Dept of Pediatrics, Oklahoma City, OK 73104.