Resurrected ParticipACTION initiative success underpinned by brand, organizations

Feb 23, 2010

Despite a six-year hiatus, a resurrected national physical activity initiative in Canada, ParticipACTION, still has the potential to succeed thanks to a "sticky" brand fostered over thirty successful years, and support from organizations with health promotion and physical activity as their mandates, University of Alberta researchers have found.

The study, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and was led by behavioural epidemiologist Ron Plotnikoff. Researchers recruited 268 Canadian organizations at local, provincial and national levels involved in physical activity and health promotion to determine their capacity to work with ParticipACTION to achieve the goal of making Canada a more active country.

Participating organizations were surveyed with three objectives in mind: to determine brand awareness of the 'old' and 'new' ParticipACTION; to look at the capacity - the ability to adopt, implement and externally promote physical activity initiatives - and to explore differences in capacity relative to the organization's size, sector and primary mandate.

In terms of brand awareness, 96 per cent of responding organizations said they had heard of ParticipACTION; 54.6 per cent had heard of the 'new' ParticipACTION. According to researchers, this indicates a strong cultural memory of the ParticipACTION initiative but considering that most respondents had been existence for 10 years or longer, this was not a surprising finding, according to the paper.

Researchers found two significant differences in organizations' capacity to adopt and implement, with educational organizations, such as school boards, showing greater capacity to implement an initiative than or health care organizations, or sport and sport and recreation organizations.

This might be because the mandates of educational organizations are more closely aligned with the goals of ParticipACTION, and they may have more resources to do so, while sport, recreation and organizations might depend on the "fit" between their own organizational vision and values.

While national initiative physical activities do not often succeed for a variety of factors from lack of leadership to lack of resources, ParticipACTION is better positioned for potential success owing to its well-articulated and memorable brand, combined with the capacities of organizations and advances in communications technology.

The baselines established by the research will be used to facilitate the assessment of future campaigns and initiatives.

Explore further: Off-season doesn't allow brain to recover from football hits, study says

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study shows parents back junk-food ban in schools

Sep 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The issues surrounding children being overweight or obese plague society. In fact, the prevalence of these rates has tripled in the past three decades. But the University of Alberta's Paul ...

Recommended for you

US judge overturns state's abortion law (Update)

4 hours ago

A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a North Dakota law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before many women know they're pregnant.

Changing cows' diet could help tackle heart disease

8 hours ago

Adding oilseed to a cow's diet can significantly reduce the harmful saturated fat found in its milk without compromising the white stuff's nutritional benefits, according to research by the University of ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.