Using Messages Targeting Psychological versus Physical Health Benefits to Promote Walking Behaviour: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Valentina Carfora, Daniela Caso, Miriam Capasso, Deborah Oliano, Mark Conner

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

1 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: This study aimed to test the efficacy of a messaging intervention targeting psychological or physical benefits plus goal setting and self-monitoring strategies to promote walking activity in the university context. Methods: Two hundred and thirty university students from the University of Naples Federico II were randomly allocated to one of four conditions: physical health messages + self-monitoring, psychological health (well-being) messages + self-monitoring, self-monitoring, and no messages. All three intervention conditions were exposed to goal setting (doing at least 7,000 steps a day) and participants were required to monitor their daily progress through the specific step counting app. Participants’ walking activity and related psychological variables were assessed at T1 and T2. We ran ANCOVAs and mediation analysis to test our research questions and hypotheses. Analyses were based on the N = 156 who completed all measures at both time points. Results: Participants in the three experimental (message) conditions reported improvement in psychological variables and behaviour. In particular, the messages focused on the physical health benefits, combined with self-monitoring, were the most effective. Conclusions: Our study provides new information on the factors that could be usefully targeted to promote walking activity (i.e. intention, past behaviour, action control, and persuasive messages on the physical benefits of walking).
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)152-173
Numero di pagine22
RivistaAPPLIED PSYCHOLOGY. HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
Volume13
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021

Keywords

  • goal setting
  • messaging intervention
  • walking
  • physical activity
  • self-monitoring
  • persuasive communication

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