Using the stages of change model to increase the adoption of physical activity among community participants

B. H. Marcus, S. W. Banspach, R. C. Lefebvre, J. S. Rossi, R. A. Carleton, D. B. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. This study examined the use of the stages of change model to design an exercise intervention for community volunteers. Design. The 'Imagine Action' campaign was a community-wide event incorporating the involvement of local worksites and community agencies. Community members registering for the campaign were enrolled in a six-week intervention program designed to encourage participation in physical activity. Subjects. Six hundred and ten adults aged 18 to 82 years old enrolled in the program. Seventy-seven percent of the participants were female and the average age was 41.8 years (SD = 13.8). Setting. The campaign was conducted in a city with a population of approximately 72,000 and was promoted throughout community worksites, area schools, organizations, and local media channels. Measures. One question designed to assess current stage of exercise adoption was included on the campaign registration form as were questions about subject name, address, telephone number, birthdate, and gender. Intervention. The intervention included written materials designed to encourage participants to initiate or increase physical activity, a resource manual describing activity options in the community, and weekly 'fun walks' and 'activity nights.' Results. A Stuart-Maxwell test for correlated proportions revealed that subjects were significantly more active after the six-week intervention. Sixty-two percent of participants in Contemplation became more active while 61% in Preparation became more active. Conclusions. Most participants increased their stage of exercise adoption during the six-week intervention. This study provides preliminary support for use of the stages of change model in designing exercise interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-429
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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