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Workshop on mass media and social marketing on physical activity

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WHO in partnership with the WHO Collaborating Centre on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity, Sydney, Australia is holding a workshop on mass media and social marketing on physical activity from 27 to 29 September 2015 in Amman, Jordan. 

The objectives of the workshop are to:

  • enhance skills and capacity to design and implement national or large regional mass media campaigns to promote physical activity (and develop skills in other related ncd risk factor mass media campaigns);
  • develop a draft communication national or regional plan about physical activity.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: 

  • apply communications principles and develop appropriate messages as part of mass media campaigns to increase physical activity (or other noncommunicable diseases prevention campaigns);
  • plan and implement a population-level mass media/social marketing campaign;
  • evaluate mass media campaigns and assess their impact on physical inactivity and related health compromising behaviours.

The topics covered during the workshop will include: physical activity mass media campaign planning; message and communication design; implementing and delivery of mass media campaigns; using other media, the news media, and social media to support campaigns; supporting the campaign with national physical activity strategies; and evaluating the impact of the campaign. 

Physical inactivity is a substantial public health problem. Data from the Region shows a wide variation in the levels of physical inactivity, ranging from about 30% of the population to as high as 70% in some countries. more disturbing is that, based on WHO estimates, the Eastern Mediterranean Region is the least physically active among all the WHO regions. in 2012, Member States of the Region adopted during the Fifty-ninth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean a framework for action to implement the United Nations Political Declaration, including the implementation of the global recommendations on physical activity, and conducting mass media campaigns on diet and physical activity. 

One of the initial strategies in implementation of a national or regional physical activity plan is to increase community understanding of physical inactivity and health; an optimal approach to this is through the development and implementation of mass reach communications campaigns about physical activity that are locally relevant, understandable, widely disseminated and reach the whole population or key population segments. the use of planned mass media campaigns is central to this step of public education about physical activity and its role in the prevention of noncommunicable diseases.