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.