Author Identifier

Robert U Newton

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health




School of Medical and Health Sciences / Exercise Medicine Research Institute / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research




Pettigrew, S., Jongenelis, M. I., Rai, R., Jackson, B., & Newton, R. U. (2021). Communicating with older people about physical activity. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 45(6), 587-591.


Objective: Little is known about how to effectively encourage higher levels of activity among older people. This study tested the effectiveness of a public service advertisement designed according to recommendations for communicating with older audiences and featuring five types of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity: tennis, line dancing, cycling, swimming and jogging. Methods: A survey administered to 1,200 Australians aged 50+ years assessed effects of the public service advertisement on: motivation (intrinsic and extrinsic); perceived believability, relevance, and effectiveness; and feelings elicited (e.g. interest, hope, guilt). Open-ended questions enabled respondents to describe aspects of the ad they considered to be most and least effective. Results: Moderate to high scores were obtained on the motivation measures and the ad evaluation criteria of perceived effectiveness, likeability, believability and personal relevance. Mean scores for the feelings measures were generally low, with the exception of the positive feelings of being interested, inspired, hopeful and determined. Conclusions: The results suggest physical activity promotion ads can be motivating across age and socioeconomic subgroups of older people. Implications for public health: Ads aiming to encourage older people to be more physically active may be accepted and effective if they depict everyday older people enjoying a range of relevant activities.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.