S. McFarland, L. New, P. Borah, T. Reiss, C.P. Connolly

Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Mixed evidence exists to support physical activity (PA) interventions on campus. Several strategies to promote PA demonstrate some initial promise, including point of decision stair use prompts (PODS) and Exercise is MedicineTM on Campus (EIMoC). More research is needed to evaluate their general effectiveness and message design on campus PA behavior. PURPOSE: To determine the effect of gain-framed PODS messaging and an EIMoC campaign on university stair use behavior. METHODS: Infrared sensors were installed in four buildings at a midsized Northwest University. Data was collected at baseline, during a PODS intervention, and PODS plus our EIMoC campaign. EIMoC consisted of a series of university-wide emails with gain-framed stair use messaging as well as numerous student-led EIMoC activities. Our control site received no PODS but was exposed to EIMoC. The PODS intervention was placed at all three treatment sites (health and wellness, student living, and workplace settings). The control site consisted of a combination of offices and classrooms. RESULTS: A generalized linear mixed model was used to analyze the random effects of building and treatments. Effect range variance estimates increased across all building and with the introduction of treatment conditions. Control site variance increased with exposure to EIMoC. Variance-Partitioning-Coefficients (VPC) suggest building accounted for 9% of the variance (Conditional R2 = .097). Treatment VPC suggests that only 0.28% is accounted for by PODS and EIMoC. Day of the week explained a small amount of the variance (Marginal R2 = .004) with less activity on weekends than weekdays. CONCLUSION: PODS and EIMoC using gain-framed messages were shown to have an effect on stair use PA behavior across campus settings. In general, buildings have substantial effect on the variance of stair use. EIMoC initiatives should consider using gain framed messages and multiple mediums to promote PA.

Supported by the ACSM NW Student Research Grant.

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