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.