Likeability and perceived effectiveness of messages designed to encourage physical activity participation among older adults
Health Promotion Journal of Australia
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Australian Research Council
ARC Number : DP140100365
Issue addressed: Older adults are significantly less likely than their younger counterparts to engage in physical activity. Comprehensive policies to support healthy ageing thus need to include components encouraging greater participation in physical activity in later life. This study tested potential messages for use in health communication campaigns aimed at increasing physical activity among older adults. Methods: Twelve written messages designed to encourage older adults to increase their levels of physical activity were rated by Australians aged 60-92 years (n = 369; 54 % female) on the variables of likeability and perceived effectiveness. Results: Ratings for all the tested messages were high across both outcome variables. The message Move more, live longer scored most favourably, with large majorities of participants liking this message (87 %) and considering it effective (81 %). Messages featuring rhyming or alliteration were rated significantly higher on both outcomes than messages without these attributes (all Ps < .001). Conclusions: Results provide insights into the types of messages that are likely to be accepted by older adults. Statements that use the phonological patterns of rhyming or alliteration are likely to be especially well received. So What?: Increasing participation in physical activity among older adults is critical to promoting the sustainability of health care systems and enhancing quality of life. The specific messaging attributes identified in the present study as being effective could be used by public health practitioners to inform their approach to physical activity messaging to older adults and incorporated into future health communication campaigns to increase their potential effectiveness with this target group.
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Jongenelis, M. I., Jackson, B., Newton, R. U., & Pettigrew, S. (2022). Likeability and perceived effectiveness of messages designed to encourage physical activity participation among older adults. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 33(S1), 266-270. https://doi.org/10.1002/hpja.578