A Rapid Review of Communication Strategies for Physical Activity Guidelines and Physical Activity Promotion: A Review of Worldwide Strategies

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: To support the strategy development for communication of the updated physical activity (PA) guidelines, the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Expert Panel for Communication was created. Methods: To help inform this process, a rapid review was performed to identify and describe how other nations are communicating their PA guidelines and PA generally. Elements of the health-enhancing physical activity policy audit tool created by the World Health Organization were used to investigate all 195 countries. Results: Seventy-seven countries had their own guidelines; 53 used the World Health Organization guidelines, and for 65 countries, no guidelines could be found. For the communication, 27 countries used infographics; 56 had government policies/documents, and 11 used a mass media campaign. Only 6 of these had been evaluated. Although many countries used infographics, there were no associated evaluations. As such, any future communication strategies should incorporate an evaluation. Mass media campaigns had the strongest evidence base, proving to be an effective strategy, particularly when incorporating aspects of social marketing. Conclusion: This review provides an insight into strategies countries worldwide have taken to communicate PA guidelines and PA promotion. These should be carefully considered when deciding how best to communicate and promote PA guidelines.

Budzynski-Seymour and Steele are with Solent University, Southampton, United Kingdom. Milton is with the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom. Mills is with Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, United Kingdom. Wade and Steele are with the ukactive Research Institute, London, United Kingdom. Foster is with the University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom. Vishnubala is with Hull York Medical School, Hull, United Kingdom. Baxter is with Population Health, United Kingdom Department of Health and Social Care, London, United Kingdom. Williamson is with The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Budzynski-Seymour (emily.budzynski-seymour@solent.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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