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Allez Hop, a nationwide programme for the promotion of physical activity in Switzerland: what is the evidence for a population impact after one decade of implementation?
  1. Miriam Wanner1,2,
  2. Eva Martin-Diener1,2,
  3. Georg F Bauer2,3,
  4. Hanspeter Stamm4,
  5. Brian W Martin1,2
  1. 1Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Magglingen, Magglingen, Switzerland
  2. 2Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  3. 3Centre for Occupational and Organisational Sciences, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  4. 4Observatory Sport and Physical Activity, Lamprecht & Stamm (L&S) Sozialforschung und Beratung AG, Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Miriam Wanner, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, Pestalozzistrasse 24, CH-8032 Zurich, Switzerland; miriam.wanner{at}physicalactivityandhealth.ch

Abstract

Objectives To present evidence for a population impact of a national physical activity promotion programme after a decade of implementation.

Methods The programme Allez Hop offered local physical activity courses (mainly walking and Nordic walking) once a week over 12 weeks. Data from a pretest posttest survey in 2005 course participants (N=2157 at baseline (of 4130, 52.2%), 1587 at first follow-up (73.6%); smaller subsample with second follow-up) and from repeated cross-sectional national surveys have been analysed regarding changes in physical activity behaviour.

Results The total number of Allez Hop courses was 18 684 between 1997 and 2008. 89.2% of participants were women, the mean age was 48.5 years. The proportion meeting the physical activity recommendations was 31.7% at baseline, in participants with first follow-up data it increased from 33.1% to 42.3% (p<0.001). On the population level in the main user group of Allez Hop (middle-aged women) the proportion not engaging in any sport decreased from 50.1% (1997) to 47.2% (2002) and to 43.1% (2007) (p<0.01). Walking/hiking was the second most frequently performed sport (33.7%) in 2007, with the most remarkable increase since 2000 (+11.1%).

Conclusions Allez Hop was successfully implemented for more than a decade, reached middle-aged women and a high proportion of insufficiently active individuals. Changes in participants' physical activity behaviour must be interpreted cautiously because of low response rates and short follow-up. However, indications for behavioural changes were observed at the population level, even though these data do not allow a causal link to Allez Hop.

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Footnotes

  • Funding This study was funded by the Swiss Federation, Swiss Olympics, Federal Office of Sport, Swiss Council for Accident Prevention.

  • Competing interests None.

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