Effects of 2 brief interventions on women's understanding of moderate-intensity physical activity

J Phys Act Health. 2008 Jan;5(1):58-73. doi: 10.1123/jpah.5.1.58.


Background: Women's understanding of "moderate-intensity" physical activity (MPA) as presented in the media is not well-understood. This study assessed whether women who are presented a mass-media message about MPA can demonstrate a moderate-intensity walking pace without practicing this pace first.

Methods: Insufficiently active women (n = 75, age 40 +/- 12 years, 76% White) were shown a mass-media description of a MPA recommendation. Forty-one were randomized to also practice a moderate-intensity (55%-70% of maximum heart rate) walk. One month later, participants were asked to demonstrate a 10-minute moderate-intensity walk. Groups were compared on the proportion of participants who walked > or = 10 minutes at a moderate intensity.

Results: At posttest, more participants who received practice at baseline walked at a moderate-intensity > or = 10 minutes than those who received no practice (P < .05).

Conclusion: To understand MPA, it is not enough to simply hear and read a description of MPA. It is essential to practice MPA.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Mass Media
  • Middle Aged
  • Oklahoma
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology*