Teams enhanced participation in ActiveU

12 Sep

The University of Michigan runs a physical activity promotion campaign every winter, called ActiveU. Faculty, staff, and graduate students can sign up, individually or in teams, and then self-report, through a web site, each physical activity episode.

We examined participation rates and found that those who participated as part of a team were 28% more likely to meet their self-set activity goals. That was after statistically controlling for factors like age, gender, BMI, and baseline activity levels. Details can be found in the journal article.

This is only a correlational study. There are many possible confounds that could have made the people who were more likely to stick with the campaign and meet their goals also be more likely to register as part of a team.

Still, it offers some evidence that participating as part of a team helped people to achieve a behavior change. Whether the key ingredient was accountability to a team, competition with other teams, or the fun or inspiration of participating with others, or some combination, we can’t be sure. But certainly team activities are worth exploring further and including in health promotion campaigns.


One Response to “Teams enhanced participation in ActiveU”


  1. Self-Determination Theory and Its Implications « Healthier Together - October 10, 2011

    […] of group goals, as confirmed in the empirical results reported for the ActiveU program previously in this blog. And we know that many people are motivated by competition with […]

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