The Move Your Way campaign, developed by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, aims to improve Americans’ adherence to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. This article describes the research that informed the campaign’s products, messaging, and strategy.
A mixed-methods approach was used to understand participants’ preferences for physical activity messages and information seeking. Two rounds (round 1 [n = 95] and round 2 [n = 73]) of focus groups and an online survey (n = 2050) were conducted with adult physical activity contemplators. A third round (n = 84) of focus groups was conducted with children, teens, and parents of young children.
Adults, parents, teens, and children preferred messages that reflected diverse examples of activities; most participants disliked “one-size-fits-all” recommendations. Adults and parents preferred messages that emphasized specific health benefits over generic messages about overall health. Although some participants preferred getting physical activity information from digital search tools and social media platforms, many preferred getting this information from family members and friends.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion translated these findings into 3 themes used for Move Your Way implementation: (1) leverage social and community connections, (2) emphasize representation through inclusion and diversity, and (3) customize physical activity recommendations to make them more achievable.