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Hayley Guiney, Michael Keall and Liana Machado

The aim of this study was to provide up-to-date information about physical activity (PA) levels in New Zealand older adults to inform the development and targeting of relevant health promotion initiatives. Nationally-representative survey (N = 1,468) data were analyzed to assess in people aged ≥ 60 years the prevalence of physical inactivity and meeting PA guidelines, differences between 2012 and 2014, and sociodemographic correlates. One-fifth (20.7%) of respondents were inactive; 46.2% met PA guidelines. Multivariate analyses revealed lower PA in 2014 versus 2012, and identified self-rated health and education as correlates of both PA measures. Age and socioeconomic deprivation were associated with physical inactivity only, while sex and employment were correlates of meeting PA guidelines. Low PA among older adults signals a need to promote PA engagement in that age group. This analysis aids effective intervention design by identifying specific segments of the older adult population that tailored health promotion initiatives should target.

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Tina Lankford, Jana Wallace, David Brown, Jesus Soares, Jacqueline N. Epping and Fred Fridinger

Background:

Mass media campaigns are a necessary tool for public health practitioners to reach large populations and promote healthy behaviors. Most health scholars have concluded that mass media can significantly influence the health behaviors of populations; however the effects of such campaigns are typically modest and may require significant resources. A recent Community Preventive Services Task Force review on stand-alone mass media campaigns concluded there was insufficient evidence to determine their effectiveness in increasing physical activity, partly due to mixed methods and modest and inconsistent effects on levels of physical activity.

Methods:

A secondary analysis was performed on the campaigns evaluated in the Task Force review to determine use of campaign-building principles, channels, and levels of awareness and their impact on campaign outcomes. Each study was analyzed by 2 reviewers for inclusion of campaign building principles.

Results:

Campaigns that included 5 or more campaign principles were more likely to be successful in achieving physical activity outcomes.

Conclusion:

Campaign success is more likely if the campaign building principles (formative research, audience segmentation, message design, channel placement, process evaluation, and theory-based) are used as part of campaign design and planning.