No. 2, April 2004
SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC HEALTH
ORIGINAL RESEARCH: FEATURED
ABSTRACT FROM THE 18TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHRONIC DISEASE
PREVENTION AND CONTROL
BC Walks: The Use of Mass
Media and Community Programming to Promote Walking
PE Fell, B Fisher, B Reger, D Spicer
Suggested citation for this article: Fell PE,
Fisher B, Reger B, Spicer D. BC Walks: the use of mass media and community programming to
promote walking [abstract]. Prev Chronic Dis [serial online] 2004 Apr [date
cited]. Available from: URL: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2004/
The objective of this study was to increase the number of people who meet
the recommended standard for moderate-intensity physical activity through
walking and to assess the use of mass media and community programming to
increase walking awareness and behaviors in individuals. The goal was to
have 10,000 people pledge to start walking 10 minutes a day, working up to
30 minutes a day.
BC Walks media campaign, public relations, and public health activities
were conducted in Broome County, NY, during May and June 2003. Broome
County's total population is 200,500.
BC Walks promoted walking among the residents of Broome County through a
mass media campaign including television, radio, cable, and print.
Additional programming included walking events such as "Walk With a Doc"
and a walk with a county executive downtown at lunchtime. Preprinted
prescription pads for walking were given out by health care providers to
their patients. A speakers' bureau was developed to provide speakers for service groups, a program that
reached more than 1000 people with the BC Walks message. Additionally, a
Web site was developed for individuals to log their minutes and see the
latest activities of BC Walks. Worksite challenges using pedometers as
incentives were conducted in 30 businesses representing more than 4000
employees. Five schools introduced programs that encouraged walking among
students, staff, and parents. Community programs on walkable communities
were conducted in 4 local municipalities.
During the 2-month program, 10,800 people signed pledge cards to start
walking 30 minutes a day. This mass media and community program demonstrated an increase in the
number of people who pledged to meet the recommended standard for moderate
Corresponding Author: Patricia Fell, RN, MS, Director, Community
Health Services, United Health Services Hospitals, Wilson Medical Center,
33-57 Harrison St, Johnson City, NY 13790. Telephone: 607-763-6159. E-mail:
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