Fitness Resources

This section of the site provides quick access to case studies and helpful on-line social marketing resources for increasing fitness levels. We welcome suggestions for additional case studies and resources

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April 13, 2018. We apologize but THIS PAGE IS NOT WORKING PROPERLY. We are in the process of fixing it.

Until we are able to fix this page, we suggest you refer instead to the Active Living Topic Resources page, which shares many of the same entries.

Nov. 15, 2017 Virtually Everyone Benefits From More Physical Activity
Systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses (based largely on epidemiological studies consisting of large cohorts) have demonstrated a dose-response relationship between physical activity and premature mortality and the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic medical conditions. The relationships between physical activity and health outcomes are generally curvilinear such that marked health benefits are observed with relatively minor volumes of physical activity. More
June 6, 2016

We've added a number of new case studies relating to gardening and active transportation (see the left hand column below), as well as new resources on program impact attribution, barriers and benefits, and creating fitness programs for those with disabilities. The most recently added resource is a study that found that "Individuals who walk at a brisk or fast pace are more likely to have a lower weight when compared to individuals doing other activities." See the right hand column below.

September 11, 2015

Increases in physical activity are as important as smoking cessation for reduction in total mortality in elderly men (12 years of follow-up of the Oslo II study - see Br J Sports Med 2015;49:743-748 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094522.)  Also - note the newly-posted reports that (1) provide a call to action from the (U.S.) Surgeon General to promote walking and walkable communities, (2) explain why cyclists form stronger commuting habits than drivers, (3) review the history of global bikesharing, (4) summarize the evidence on co-benefits of activity-friendly environments and (5) explore the use of telephone and web-based technologies. See the right hand column below. We've also updated our BIXI case study.


Most Recent Fitness Case Studies

Landmark Case Study Fort Collins Efficiency Works (Neighborhoods).  Environment

In a pilot from the fall of 2015 to the fall of 2016, Fort Collins Utilities doubled enrollment rates, converted 44% of energy efficiency assessments to comprehensive upgrades, and doubled average project energy savings. In 2017, this pilot received both Landmark designation and the American Public Power Association Energy Innovator award. The pilot offered a streamlined, turn-key service for homeowners that overcame key barriers to participation such as lack of time to select and meet with contractors, too many complex technical scope of work decisions, homeowner distrust of contractor proposals, and concerns about paying for improvements. The campaign also used a propensity model to target the neighborhoods with the highest potential for saving, and then direct mail marketing to neighborhoods with the highest propensity to participate. This case study was designated Landmark in 2017.

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Landmark Case Study Capitol Hill In Motion  EnvironmentHealth

Capitol Hill In Motion is a recent evolution of the individualized marketing approach used by King County, Washington State, USA. It illustrates how to further engage communities where most trips are already not drive-alone. With remarkably high signup rates, this campaign also delivered a solid 16% average reduction in drive-alone trips (surpassing the campaign goal and King County’s overall goal of a 10% reduction). 

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Familles à énergie positive  Environment

France's multi-year "Familles à énergie positive" program uses peer support groups (eco-teams) to reduce residential energy and water consumption. During the 2014/2015 period, participants reported an average 12% reduction in energy consumption, saving 8,500,000 kWh overall. Between 2008 and 2016 it engaged 90,000 individuals in 36,908 participating households.

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TransLink’s Smart Card  Environment

British Columbia’s TransLink introduced Compass, a travel pass payment system that replaced 150 different tickets and passes. To ensure positive adoption, TransLink brought customers through a series of messaging that generated awareness, created broad comprehension around Compass benefits and features, and educated customers on proper card use behaviour. It achieved a 95% adoption rate within months of closing the gates, and transit ridership increased 4-6% per year following introduction

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Denver’s Schoolpool  EnvironmentHealth

Schoolpool is a dynamic program that gets students to and from school in a safer, more social and environmentally sustainable fashion,using carpools, transit and finding buddies for walking and cycling. Parents and guardians can locate nearby families or search for them along their child’s route to school. The program serves 150 campuses in the Denver region, and more than 19,000 families. 

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Macon Connects  EnvironmentHealth

A temporary network of cycling lanes convinced the community of Macon GA to create permanent protected lanes. One-block sections of street that had previously been made more bike-friendly had not been used much and there was concern that not enough people would actually cycle. The pilot created the largest pop-up bike lane network in the world and tested five alternative kinds of bike infrastructure, from sharrows (painted stripes) to more buffered lanes and protected cycle racks with bollards.

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Landmark Case Study Playa Vista Ability2Change  EnvironmentHealth

Playa Vista's Ability2Change program is a great example of a targeted, strategic approach to transport behavior change. It features careful market segmentation and barrier removal, with different initiatives for different people. In just seven months it yielded a 4.9% decrease in peak time drive alone mode share across the entire community (a decrease of 3.5 percentage points from 71.4% to 67.9%), with corresponding increases in carpool, cycling and transit trips. 

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Chicago’s Go Program  EnvironmentHealth

Chicago’s Go Program is an Individualized Marketing program that helps residents walk, bike, ride transit, and share bikes more frequently, while driving alone less often. Participants have access to free personal support, group activities, and personalized Go Kits full of walking, biking, transit, and bike share information. Local outreach ambassadors help people explore their travel options by engaging residents in dialogue and fostering community partnerships. The program also organizes and leads group events where staff and ambassadors answer questions and provide personal support to help reduce barriers to accessing transportation options. Each program has continued on afterwards as a community-based initiative, independent of the original grant funding. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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Landmark Case Study Shower Feedback in Switzerland  Environment

The Shower Feedback program provides households with real-time feedback on one specific, energy-intensive behaviour: showering. Participants receive smart shower meters that display feedback on the individual’s energy and water consumption in the shower in real time. On average, participants cut their shower time by an average of roughly 20%, which reduced related water and energy consumption by about the same amount. This program was designated a Tools of Change Landmark case study in 2016. 

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Landmark Case Study Ohm Connect’s #OhmHour Program  Environment

Ohm Connect’s #OhmHour Program pays program participants to reduce their energy at peak times. On average, participants save100-200 kWh at peak times per year per household. While there have been a number of episodic energy efficiency programs in the past, this case study adds three innovative elements: a focus on peak demand with remarkable frequency, flexibility and precision; rich gamification features that encourage user participation; and an optional level of automation that was not available until the recent installation of smart meters and widespread availability of smart devices. Implementation requires no hardware to purchase or install. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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Landmark Case Study Energy Star  Environment

ENERGY STAR is one of the most effective public sector voluntary behavior change programs in U.S. history. The program was designed with the goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the energy efficiency of products. ENERGY STAR sets national specifications for energy efficient products that are in the top 20% of efficiency for the product category. As efficiency in each product category improves, the specification moves up, encouraging continual improvement. Manufacturers that meet the specifications can use the ENERGY STAR label on products and in their marketing. Utilities can set rebate dollars based on a nationally accepted specification which makes it easy for manufacturers and retailers to participate in their rebate programs. Ultimately, consumers can easily identify products that are energy efficient when shopping. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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Energy+Illawarra  Environment

Energy+Illawarra is a community oriented strategic social marketing program with the aim of supporting home energy efficiency, comfort and wellbeing among 830 older, low-income people in the Illawarra, NSW, Australia.

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Duke Energy's Smart Energy in Offices Program  Environment

Duke Energy's Smart Energy in Offices program (SEiO) is one of the few behavioral programs targeting energy savings opportunities in large commercial office buildings. It encourages energy savings from improved energy efficient building operations and maintenance practices, and also from improved tenant and employee energy management and conservation practices.

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Clean Air at Home  EnvironmentHealth

"Clean Air at Home: Small Steps Make a Big Difference" is a targeted, community-based social marketing campaign that reduces young families’ exposures to environmental contaminants at home such as mould, dust, fumes from toxic cleaners and tobacco smoke. Almost three in four participants changed some of their behaviors and almost one half reported performing all five of the behaviors being promoted.

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Landmark Case Study King County In Motion  EnvironmentHealth

In Motion participants pledge to shift two drive-alone trips per week to transit, ridesharing, biking or walking. The program uses motivational interviewing, commitments, rewards, engaging materials and norm appeals tailored to each target community. It has been called into action during or in anticipation of major construction, transit restructures or new transit service such as light rail or bus rapid transit. Since creating In Motion in 2004, King County Metro Transit has applied a growing toolkit of community-based social marketing techniques to persuade about 23,000 Seattle-area travelers to drive less. Designated a Landmark case study in 2015. A 4.5 minute You Tube video summary is available.

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Most Recent Fitness Resources

Communications Handbook for Climate Change Scientists  Environment

This communications Handbook, commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change offers a wealth of research on the science of climate change communication, practical tips and case studies.

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Effectiveness of physical activity promoting technology-based distance interventions compared to usual care. Systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression  EnvironmentHealth

Technology-based delivery of interventions seems to be more effective than usual care in promoting physical activity, particularly in the interventions targeting health care patients. Read More »

White Paper on Traffic Safety Culture  Safety

A culture-based approach is complementary to, but fundamentally different in form and philosophy from traditional traffic safety interventions including engineering, enforcement, and education. By treating the origin of risk behaviors (pathogens), cultural-based interventions are proactive and transformational in their treatment approach. This paper describes the potential role of cultural transformations in our traffic safety system as well as identifying potential hazards and recommended strategies for implementing this traffic safety paradigm.

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Behavior-Based Safety and Occupational Risk Management  Safety

The behavior-based approach to managing occupational risk and preventing workplace injuries is reviewed. Unlike the typical top-down control approach to industrial safety, behavior-based safety (BBS) provides tools and procedures workers can use to take personal control of occupational risks. Strategies the author and his colleagues have been using for more than a decade to teach BBS to safety leaders and line workers are presented. In addition, a conceptual model is proposed for matching the awareness and behavior of an individual with a particular BBS intervention technique.

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Motor Vehicle Safety Training for Small Businesses  Safety

This study, conducted in 2016-2017 by RTI on behalf of the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), looked at what motor vehicle safety topics and products are of greatest use to small businesses.

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Gun Policy Analysis  Safety

Rand Corporation reviewed thousands of studies to identify all available evidence for the effects of 13 gun policies in the USA on eight outcomes.

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HIV/STI Prevention Interventions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis  Health

This review of randomized and non-randomized controlled trials assessed the effectiveness of HIV/STI prevention interventions for people living with HIV in high income settings. It discusses the types and common characteristics among effective interventions.

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Effectiveness of Social Marketing Interventions to Promote Physical Activity Among Adults: A Systematic Review.  Health

Findings revealed that the presence of more social marketing benchmarks in interventions increased the likelihood of success in promoting physical activity. The presence of more than 3 benchmarks improved the success of the interventions; specifically, all interventions were successful when more than 7.5 benchmarks were present. Further, primary formative research, core product, actual product, augmented product, promotion, and behavioural competition all had a significant influence on the effectiveness of interventions.

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Health Communication and Social Marketing Campaigns for Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention and Control: What Is the Evidence of their Effectiveness?  Health

The review yielded 26 articles representing 16 unique STD testing and/or prevention campaigns. Nearly all campaigns found differences between exposed and unexposed individuals on one or more key behavioral outcomes. Several campaigns found dose-response relationships. Among evaluations with uncontaminated control groups whose campaigns achieved sufficient exposure, sustained campaign effects were observed among targeted populations.

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Social marketing interventions aiming to increase physical activity among adults: A systematic review  Health

The results of the current study indicate that increasing the number of benchmark criteria used in an intervention to at least four increases the chances of achieving positive behavioural outcomes.

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Effectiveness of social marketing strategies to reduce youth obesity in European school-based interventions: A systematic review and meta-analysis  Health

Current evidence indicates that the inclusion of at least 5 SMBC domains (from the National Social Marketing Centre?s social marketing benchmark criteria) in school-based interventions could benefit efforts to prevent obesity in young people.

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Effectiveness of a Communication for Behavioural Impact intervention to reduce salt intake in Vietnam  Health

This behavior change intervention, implemented in four wards and four communes in Vietnam for one year, included mass media communication, school interventions, community programs, and a focus on high?risk groups. It was effective in lowering average population salt intake and improving knowledge and behaviors.

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A review of current practices to increase Chlamydia screening in the community--a consumer-centered social marketing perspective  Health

Of 18 interventions identified, quality of evidence was low. Proportional screening rates varied, ranging from: 30.9 to 62.5% in educational settings (n = 4), 4.8 to 63% in media settings (n = 6) and from 5.7 to 44.5% in other settings (n = 7). Assessment against benchmark criteria found that interventions incorporating social marketing principles were more likely to achieve positive results, yet few did this comprehensively.

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A meta-analysis of the evaluations of social marketing interventions addressing smoking, alcohol drinking, physical activity, and eating  Health

Interventions using social marketing principles were effective at bringing about statistically significant behavior changes. Interventions designed to effectively change eating, physical activity, and smoking behaviors were effective; those addressing drinking alcohol were not. Interventions that tackled multiple behavior objectives usually failed to succeed. This review showed that marketing mix, exchange strategies, and use of theory were significant factors of program effectiveness.

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Online interventions for social marketing health behavior change campaigns: a meta-analysis of psychological architectures and adherence factors.  Health

 These findings demonstrate that online interventions have the capacity to influence voluntary behaviors, such as those routinely targeted by social marketing campaigns. Given the high reach and low cost of online technologies, the stage may be set for increased public health campaigns that blend interpersonal online systems with mass-media outreach.

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