Walking to meet health guidelines: the effect of prompting frequency and prompt structure

Health Psychol. 1995 Mar;14(2):164-70. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.14.2.164.


This study assessed the effects of frequency of prompting (phone calls once a week versus once every 3 weeks) and structure of prompting (high versus low structure) in 135 participants (132 women and 3 men) in a walking program designed to meet the American College of Sports Medicine's cardiovascular exercise goals. Survival analysis using 6 months of data points and using the criteria of walking at least 20 min a day for at least 3 times per week indicated an effect for more frequent versus less frequent prompting (46% and 13%) but not for high- versus low-structure prompting (30% and 31%). The results suggested the efficacy of frequent prompting delivered in inexpensive ways as a means to increase exercise adherence and the further parametric study of other basic behavior change strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feedback
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Physical Fitness
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Walking / psychology*