The MOVE Frankston study: 24-Month follow-up of a randomized controlled trial of incentives and support to increase leisure center usage and physical activity

Karine E. Manera, Joshua Newton, Fiona Newton, Adrian Bauman, Robert J. Donovan, Michael T. Ewing, Ruth Mackenzie-Stewart, Ajay Mahal, Ben J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Recreational physical activity (PA) facilities have the potential to deliver health benefits for surrounding communities, however little is known about the impact of marketing strategies to encourage their use. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of two low intensity interventions aimed at promoting usage of a new multipurpose recreation facility. A community-based randomized controlled trial with a 24-month follow up period was conducted with 1320 inactive adult residents of the City of Frankston, Victoria, Australia. Participants were randomized to a control, intervention 1 (information and attendance incentive) or intervention 2 (information, attendance incentives, personalized support) group. Primary outcomes were recreation facility attendance, purchase of facility membership and PA participation. Eight hundred and fifty-four (65%) participants completed 24-months follow up. Provision of incentives with personalized support was associated with greater attendance at the facility, as well as higher rates of membership. Those receiving incentives without additional support reported increases in stage of readiness to attend the facility. The interventions did not contribute to higher levels of PA, however those who became regular users of the facility were more likely to improve PA and meet the target of ≥150 min per week. Increased frequency and duration of promotion led to more regular attendance at the recreation facility, while those who attended regularly showed significant increases in PA. Incorporating recreation facilities within broader PA strategies, by engaging community members in a way that promotes more regular use of recreation facilities, will contribute to improvements in PA at a population level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101539
Number of pages8
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Exercise
  • Intervention
  • Physical activity
  • Recreation

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