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‘We need people who look strong in a variety of ways’

Using the Physical Activity Messaging Framework to Co-Design Strength Training Messaging




resistance, exercise, guidelines, communication, marketing, adults


Physical activity guidelines and their supplementary messaging play an essential role in raising awareness and changing behaviour at a population level. However, recent research suggests a low awareness of, and adherence to, strength training guidelines, especially when compared to the aerobic guidelines. This study applied the Physical Activity Messaging Framework (PAMF) with an aim of co-designing strength training messaging guidance. Twenty adults (n=18 females, n=2 males) aged 40-60 years residing in the Greater Manchester area of the United Kingdom participated in one, four-hour, in-person workshop at the University of Salford. Participants were in the contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, or relapse stage of health behaviour change. The focus group activities and resulting discussions aligned with the PAMF to identify message content, format, and delivery that would resonate with the target audience. Interestingly, discussions revealed that people in this age demographic knew ‘why you should do it’ (participate in strength training). However, guidelines or messaging campaigns telling people ‘what do to (‘build strength at least twice per week’) were not sufficiently detailed to change behaviour. Participants proposed that future messaging campaigns include a quick response (QR) code linking to more detailed information on ‘how to do it,’ practically and effectively. This is the first study to use the PAMF to create strength training messaging guidance and recommendations for future mass media campaigns.


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