AJPH: Social marketing helps boost physical activity among African Americansby Dan on Oct 22, 2012 • 10:40 am 2 Comments
Walking programs with and without social marketing were paired with three communities in the study, while U.S. census data used in the selection process included crime, percentage of African American residents and poverty.
In a 12-month period, the number of walkers was dramatically higher when paired with a social marketing approach — a grassroots program in which community leaders gave participants print materials, a calendar featuring photographs of residents and program incentives that walkers could earn when walking goals were met. The results included:
- seven months with 100 or more participants in the “walker-plus-social-marketing program,” with a high of 424 walkers; when no social marketing was present, the maximum number of walkers in one month was 87 participants;
- participants in the “walking-plus-social-marketing program” reported between 87 and 100 percent positive perceptions of access, safety, social connectedness and motivation; and
- participants listed social interaction as their primary reason for walking 48 percent of the time, while health was the primary reason for 25 percent of walkers.
According to the authors, “[This] framework can be applied to programs aiming to address a range of public health issues and may be tailored to meet the needs of low-income minority communities. In addition, social connectedness seemed consistently important to walkers and may have increased community capacity for promoting walking and health.”
This article can be found in the “First Look” section of AJPH online, which includes peer-reviewed, copy-edited articles published ahead of print.