Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Creating a social movement to engage communities in physical activity: A mixed methods study of motivations to engagement

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posted on 2022-03-14, 17:01 authored by Marc Harris, Diane Crone, Samantha Hughes, William Bird
Throughout the world social isolation and loneliness are common and both have several adverse impacts on health and wellbeing. We are designed to live in close-knit communities and we thrive in close co-operation, however, modern life isolates us from others. To reduce the burden of loneliness and social isolation we need to find strategies to reconnect people to each other, their place and provide a common purpose. Social movements aim to create healthier communities by connecting people to each other and giving people a common purpose. Interventions which create a social movement appear to be effective at engaging substantial portions of a community, however, it remains unclear why individuals are attracted to these initiatives, and if such reasons differ by sociodemographic characteristics. This study combined qualitative and quantitative methods to understand what motivated (different) people to take part in a social movement based intervention. This study suggests that it is not one but a combination of reasons people engage in interventions of this nature. This diversity needs to be acknowledged when promoting and communicating these interventions to potential participants to maximise engagement. Promoting an end reward or health/fitness may not be the most effective way to promote interventions to a large proportion of people. Instead, communications should be centred around what people value (i.e., being with their friends, doing what they enjoy and are good at).


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Public Library of Science


  • VoR (Version of Record)


Harris M, Crone D, Hughes S, Bird W (2022) Creating a social movement to engage communities in physical activity: A mixed methods study of motivations to engagement. PLoS ONE 17(2): e0263414.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Diane Crone Marc Harris

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Public Health and Wellbeing

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


  • en

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