LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Readers will be able to:
1. identify key community-based resources to assist with addressing the problem of physical inactivity
2. describe the five phases of an effective community-level physical activity campaign
3. describe strategies to assess needs, plan, implement, and evaluate a physical activity campaign in their community
Many fitness and health professionals are now aware of the physical activity recommendations and how to help individuals meet them. However, they may not have had training in implementing programs to increase participation at the population level. This article explains how to implement community-wide physical activity behavior change campaigns in a cost-effective, comprehensive manner that may impact many people across an entire community or region.
Bill Reger Nash, Ed.D., is a professor of Community Medicine at West Virginia University, where his research focuses on the use of social marketing interventions to promote population-wide physical activity.
Adrian Bauman, Ph.D., FAFPHM, is the sesquicentenary professor of Public Health and Director of the PRC at Sydney University, Australia. He has interests in physical activity and public health and in the evaluation of community-level interventions to promote health.
Ben J. Smith, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an associate professor of Health Promotion at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. His research interests lie in population-wide approaches to promoting physical activity and in the efficacy of strategies to engage socially disadvantaged and high-risk groups in physical activity.
Cora L. Craig, M.Sc., is scientist emeritus of the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute and is an honorary professor in the School of Public Health, Sydney University, Australia. She has a long-standing interest in policy-related physical activity research including understanding how and why populations become more or less active.
Christiaan G. Abildso, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the program coordinator of a grant to research and evaluate an insurance-sponsored weight-management program. He also has conducted research on the impact of the built environment on physical activity and community recreational trail use.
Kevin M. Leyden, Ph.D., is a professor of Political Science and director of the Institute for Public Affairs at West Virginia University. His current research focuses primarily on the relationship between the community design, social capital, health, and climate change.
Disclosure: Authors declare no conflicts of interest.