A rapid review of communication strategies for physical activity guidelines and physical activity promotion: A review of worldwide strategies

Emily Budzynski-Seymour (Lead Author), Karen Milton, Hayley Mills, Matthew Wade, Charles Foster, Dane Vishnubala, Beelin Baxter, Chloë Williamson, James Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Background: To support the strategy development for communication of the updated physical activity (PA) guidelines, the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Expert Panel for Communication was created.
Methods: To help inform this process, a rapid review was performed to identify and describe how other nations are communicating their PA guidelines and PA generally. Elements of the health-enhancing physical activity policy audit tool created by the World Health Organization were used to investigate all 195 countries.
Results: Seventy-seven countries had their own guidelines; 53 used the World Health Organization guidelines, and for 65 countries, no guidelines could be found. For the communication, 27 countries used infographics; 56 had government policies/documents, and 11 used a mass media campaign. Only 6 of these had been evaluated. Although many countries used infographics, there were no associated evaluations. As such, any future communication strategies should incorporate an evaluation. Mass media campaigns had the strongest evidence base, proving to be an effective strategy, particularly when incorporating aspects of social marketing.
Conclusion: This review provides an insight into strategies countries worldwide have taken to communicate PA guidelines and PA promotion. These should be carefully considered when deciding how best to communicate and promote PA guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014–1027
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number8
Early online date9 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Dissemination
  • Health promotion
  • Population
  • Recommendation

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