Do community-wide interventions increase physical activity? S1TEP

Baker, Philip R.A. & Francis, Daniel P. (2013) Do community-wide interventions increase physical activity? S1TEP. In 7th National Public Health Conference 2013 Public-Private Partnership towards Schieving Universal Health Coverage, 11-13 November 2013, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.



Not getting enough physical activity leads to poorer health. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of chronic disease and improve one’s health and well-being. The lack of physical activity is a common and growing problem in many countries. We sought to evaluate the effects of community wide, multi-strategic interventions upon the physical activity patterns of populations.


We undertook a Cochrane Systematic Review which included an extensive search of databases, including studies which met pre-determined criteria, and conducted independent risk of bias assessment and data extraction.


After the selection process, 25 studies were included in the review. The strategies varied by the number and type of components and their intensity. No studies were identified as low risk of bias. Sixteen studies were identified as having a high risk of bias and thus untrustworthy. Nine studies were of considered to have an unclear risk of bias and some studies held back data they collected. The effects reported were inconsistent across the studies and the measures. Some of the better designed studies showed no improvement in measures of physical activity. Interventions which have an environmental change component seemed to be a promising direction. Those interventions which were primarily a mass media campaign were less likely to be successful.


Although numerous studies have been undertaken, there is considerable inconsistency in the findings of the available studies and this is confounded by serious methodological issues within the included studies. Simply combining interventions does not necessarily result in increased physical activity as many such studies, including some long term programs, failed to demonstrate efficacy. There is a clear need for well-designed studies and these studies should focus on the quality of measurement of physical activity. The review is currently being updated with newer studies.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

29 since deposited on 07 Apr 2014
7 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 69874
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: physical activity, systematic reviews, community interventions, mass media
ISSN: 1675-0306
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 07 Apr 2014 01:01
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2014 05:11

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page