Uptake of physical activity guidelines

New evidence-based physical activity and sedentary behavior guidelines for Canadians were launched in 2011. The guidelines are an important aspect of policy initiatives to promote physical activity and to reduce sedentary behaviour. Effective communication and dissemination of such guidelines is key to increasing levels of physical activity among Canadians.

Dr. Heather Gainforth, along with members of the Research Advisory Group, examined adoption of the guideline information on government, non-government, and public health websites.

This study examined the effectiveness of webinars as a dissemination strategy to encourage guideline adoption among service organizations. To increase adoption, organizations were offered webinars about the content of the new guidelines.

During the study period, online adoption of the guidelines increased with 51% of organizations posting guideline related information. The most common strategy for adopting the guidelines was the inclusion of links to websites that were housing the guidelines (e.g., guideline information from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology website).

Take home messages

  • Engaging organizations in webinars can be an active dissemination strategy for increasing the adoption of an innovation such as the new Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.
  • Characterizing the new guidelines to be advantageous, compatible, usable, and observable to service organizations may be important to increase sufficient dissemination of new innovation.
  • Financial support also needs to be provided to create tip sheets or communication tool kits available for adoption of new guidelines.
  • Ongoing support is needed, especially as work is being done to update and enhance the current guidelines.

Title: Evaluating the uptake of Canada’s new physical activity and sedentary behavior guidelines on service organizations’ websites

Authors: Heather L Gainforth, Tanya Berry, Guy Faulkner, Ryan E Rhodes, John C Spence, Mark S. Tremblay, Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

Go to PubMed abstract