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Mixed-method evaluation of a community-wide physical activity program in Launceston, Australia

Byrne, L, Ogden, K ORCID: 0000-0003-1811-8667, Lee, S, Ahuja, K ORCID: 0000-0002-0323-4692, Watson, G ORCID: 0000-0002-3438-0203, Bauman, A and Fell, J ORCID: 0000-0001-6094-9865 2019 , 'Mixed-method evaluation of a community-wide physical activity program in Launceston, Australia' , Health Promotion Journal of Australia , doi: 10.1002/hpja.241.

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Issue addressed: Physical inactivity is a leading risk factor for disease burden andpremature mortality. Interventions to increase physical activity are common, thoughfew examples of multi-strategy, wide-scale community programs exist. ActiveLaunceston is a community-wide program aimed at improving health and well-beingthrough physical activity. We report on the process evaluation of Active Launcestonand changes in community physical activity participation between 2008 and 2015, asa measure of program effectiveness.Methods: Mixed-method evaluation of Active Launceston combined process evaluation—consisting of participant numbers, socio-demographic characteristics, campaign awareness, focus groups and stakeholder interviews—with impact evaluationconsisting of a random-sample cross-sectional serial telephone survey.Results: Active Launceston attracted 11 887 attendees, participating in 30 342 sessions, amounting to 38 088 hours of physical activity between 2008 and 2015.Participant focus groups highlighted benefits including increased engagement in exercise, better health and social connectedness. While telephone surveys found theproportion of people participating in any physical activity in the last 12 months to besimilar between the 3 years (2008, 77.7%; 2012, 77.1%; 2015, 73.6%), a higher proportion participated in vigorous physical activity in 2012 and 2015 compared to2008 (P Conclusions: Mixed-method evaluation suggests Active Launceston is an effectivecommunity-wide program supporting community members to engage in regularphysical activity and increase levels of social engagement.So what? This work provides a model for implementing high-reach, community-wideinterventions that improve physical activity outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Byrne, L and Ogden, K and Lee, S and Ahuja, K and Watson, G and Bauman, A and Fell, J
Keywords: health behaviours, physical activity, community based interventions, mass media, mixed-method evaluation
Journal or Publication Title: Health Promotion Journal of Australia
Publisher: Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals
ISSN: 1036-1073
DOI / ID Number: 10.1002/hpja.241
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Australian Health Promotion Association. This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

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