Original Article

Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 86-94

Does Neighbourhood Walkability Moderate the Effects of Mass Media Communication Strategies to Promote Regular Physical Activity?

  • R. BarnesAffiliated withCentre for the Built Environment and Health, School of Population Health (M707), The University of Western Australia Email author 
  • , B. Giles-CortiAffiliated withMcCaughey Centre VicHealth Centre for Promotion of Mental Health and Community Wellbeing, University of Melbourne
  • , A. BaumanAffiliated withSydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney
  • , M. RosenbergAffiliated withSchool of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, The University of Western Australia
  • , F. C. BullAffiliated withCentre for the Built Environment and Health, School of Population Health (M707), The University of Western Australia
  • , J. E. LeavyAffiliated withCentre for the Built Environment and Health, School of Population Health (M707), The University of Western Australia

Abstract

Background

Mass media campaigns are widely used in Australia and elsewhere to promote physical activity among adults. Neighbourhood walkability is consistently shown to be associated with walking and total activity. Campaigns may have different effects on individuals living in high and low walkable neighbourhoods.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare pre- and post-campaign cognitive and behavioural impacts of the Heart Foundation’s Find Thirty every day® campaign, in respondents living in high and lower walkable neighbourhoods.

Methods

Pre- and post-campaign cross-sectional survey data were linked with objectively measured neighbourhood walkability. Cognitive and behavioural impacts were assessed using logistic regression stratified by walkability.

Results

Cognitive impacts were significantly higher post-campaign and consistently higher in respondents in high compared with lower walkable neighbourhoods. Post campaign sufficient activity was significantly higher and transport walking significantly lower, but only in residents of lower walkable areas.

Conclusions

Cognitive impacts of mass media physical activity campaigns may be enhanced by living in a more walkable neighbourhood.

Keywords

Mass media Intervention Walkability Built environment Physical activity Moderation