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Public Service Announcements to Promote Physical Activity

By Jennifer Erickson and Jay Greiner


The World Health Organization promotes physical activity (PA) as important for successful maintenance of health, but many individuals are inactive. Despite the potential for public service announcements (PSAs) to communicate health information and promote behavior change, no previous research on developing video PSAs to promote PA was found. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to examine how video PSAs designed for public health campaigns affect future levels of intention to engage in PA. The PSAs assessed perceived effectiveness of message foci and the impact of stage of change readiness. They were developed specifically for this study using the model of goal directed behavior as the foundation. Participants were recruited via SurveyMonkey, an Internet-based survey research platform that included an option for referral sampling to view PSAs with the message foci of empathy, fear, information, and combination to determine which focus area was perceived as most persuasive for promoting PA. The present study examined moderating effects of current PA habits, stage of change readiness, and affect at time of viewing PSA. Differences in perceived effectiveness between the different message foci were found with participants perceiving the empathy video as most effective, followed by combination videos, with fear and information being perceived least effective. For participants who met the World Health Organization recommendations for PA, the PSA based on fear was most effective. Many participants (61%) had a positive affect while watching the four PSA videos. Stages of change indicated over 28% of participants were in precontemplation and 11% were in action. Social implications are based on improving public health communication to promote healthy behavior and physical exercis

Topics: Physical activity, Public service announcement, behavior change, model of goal directed behavior, health communication, Health Psychology
Publisher: 'IUScholarWorks'
Year: 2019
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Walden University

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