Date of Conferral







Jay Greiner


The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes physical activity as a primary way to maintain health, but many individuals do not participate in this health-promoting behavior. Despite the potential for public service announcements (PSAs) to communicate health information and promote behavioral change, no prior research on developing video PSAs to promote physical activity was found. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to examine how affective and information video PSAs for a public health campaign affect future levels of intention to engage in physical activity. The PSAs were developed and filmed specific for this study using the model of goal directed behavior (MGDB) as the foundation for PSA development. Participants were recruited to view PSAs with the message foci of empathy, fear, information, and combination messages to determine which focus area is perceived to be most persuasive for promoting physical activity. This research examined moderating effects of current physical activity habits related to the duration of physical activity and the covariance with stage of change readiness. Differences in perceived effectiveness between the different message foci were found with participants perceiving the empathy video as most effective, followed by combination, with fear and information being perceived as least effective. For participants who meet WHO recommendations for exercise activity, the PSA based on fear was most effective, with fear also being most effective for those participants right below that level of physical activity. Many participants (61%) had a positive affect while watching the four PSA videos. Social implications related to improving public health communication through video PSAs that effectively promote health behavior change.