The effects of message framing characteristics on physical activity education: A systematic review

Jayde Williams, Melissa Saken, Suzanne Gough, Wayne A Hing

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Physical activity is important to prevent chronic disease and improve mental health. Physical activity education needs to be delivered in an efficient, effective and persuasive way by health professionals to increase participation. Message framing can be used to influence health decision-making and motivate behavior change. This systematic review investigates the influence of different message framing characteristics on potential physical activity participation. A search of relevant databases, reference lists and grey literature was performed. Systematic review was performed. Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority of participants were healthy adults with the exception of one study who included overweight people. All studies investigated gain and loss as well as at least one other message framing characteristic and how this influenced physical activity participation. The other characteristics included: source credibility (n = 4), presentation of affect (n = 1), number of arguments (n = 1), type of activity (n = 1), narrative versus statistical (n = 3), intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation (n = 1), social endorsement (n = 1), kernel type (n = 1) and ease of imagination (n = 2). There is no consistent consensus for the best message frame to increase physical activity participation. Further research is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1666619
Number of pages22
JournalCogent Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2019


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