Best practice in mass reach physical activity campaigns includes a role for communities to support the initiative with sustained programs and shorter-term events. The purpose of this paper was to report on an outcome evaluation of ParticipACTION’s 150 Play List, a population-level, year-long, national mass reach campaign that included community events. Participants (N = 1,185) were recruited in the last month of the program to complete a questionnaire measuring demographic information, leisure-time physical activity, campaign awareness, attitudes, intentions, and behavioral trialing. Data were also collected, measured using cell phone proximity, on the number of people who attended 150 Play List events, which ranged from large-scale (e.g. national sports events) to smaller community events. Approximately 43% of respondents were aware of the 150 Play List and 19.5% reported participating in some way (e.g. visiting the website). Almost half of the participants who were aware of the campaign reported increased sport or physical activity-related intentions. Among those who participated, 90.6% reported trying at least one physical activity or sport related behavior as a result of the 150 Play List, whereas only 27.5% (n = 75) of those who were aware but did not participate in the 150 Play List tried a behavior. Event attendance goals were mostly met or exceeded. The 150 Play List was valued by those aware of it and the campaign was related to interest in sport and physical activity in Canada. The community events had potential to augment campaign effects but adequate evaluation requires sufficient resources.
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute