Background: We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a community-wide campaign (CWC) for promoting physical activity in middle-aged and elderly people.
Methods: A cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a community as the unit of randomization was performed using a population-based random-sampled evaluation by self-administered questionnaires in the city of Unnan, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. The evaluation sample included 6000 residents aged 40 to 79 years. We randomly allocated nine communities to the intervention group and three to the control group. The intervention was a CWC from 2009 to 2010 to promote physical activity, and it comprised information, education, and support delivery. The primary outcome was a change in engaging in regular aerobic, flexibility, and/or muscle-strengthening activities evaluated at the individual level.
Results: In total, 4414 residents aged 40-79 years responded to a self-administered questionnaire (73.6% response rate). Awareness of the CWC was 79% in the intervention group. Awareness and knowledge were significantly different between the intervention and control groups, although there were no significant differences in belief and intention. The 1-year CWC did not significantly promote the recommended level of physical activity (adjusted odds ratio: 0.97; 95% confidence interval: 0.84-1.14).
Conclusions: This cluster RCT showed that the CWC did not promote physical activity in 1 year. Significant differences were observed in awareness and knowledge between intervention and control groups as short-term impacts of the campaign.
Trial registration: UMIN-CTR UMIN000002683.