Physical inactivity is one of the major contributors to the current obesity epidemic. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that the number of obese youth increased by almost 300% in the past 30 years. Adolescents in your community need motivation to engage in more physical activities to prevent childhood obesity.
The CDC recommends physical activity promotion to young people through diverse media marketing initiatives to reduce the obesity epidemic. However, physical activity promotion is a relatively new strategy. The CDC's VERB™ campaign was a national media marketing campaign that included TV, print and web advertising as well as experiential marketing and street marketing. This combination of multiple marketing media strategies resulted in increased physical activity amongst the nation's 9 – 13 year-olds. Despite its success, the strategy is still in its infancy and needs to be integrated with other evidenced-based models. VERB™ strategy improvement should focus on message development and message delivery through various marketing media channels to cause even more behavior change with increased cost efficiency.
While physical activity promotion is important, marketing strategies must also consider other variables that affect youth participation in physical activity. The factors listed below are considered in the development of Rescue SCG's physical activity promotion strategy:
- Most youth like some physical activities, but do not have enough opportunities to engage in those activities with friends;
- Once in high school, teens who are committed to an organized sport stay active while others reduce their physical activity;
- Youth who are active do not think of physical activity as exercise, but a passion or fun activity;
- Competitions and other organized events keep youth interested in sports, and youth who stay involved through high school are more likely to lead physically active lifestyles through adulthood.