University of Hertfordshire

View graph of relations


The results from two parallel pieces of research have informed the design and implementation of a large-scale physical activity intervention across four of the most deprived areas of Hertfordshire. The intervention targets inactive adults with risk factors for CVD and/or mild to moderate mental health issues.

The first study was a systematic review, which identified the most effective behaviour change techniques to target inactive adults in physical activity interventions. The second study was an analysis of a new theoretical framework for behaviour change interventions related to physical activity performance. The findings from the first study provided techniques that are being used with clients to encourage them to be more active. Findings from the second study identified key outcomes, which are key to the performance of physical activity.

In two areas, Active Herts programme users received a behaviour change technique booklet, regular consultations, a booster phone call (two weeks after initial consultation), motivational text messages, and signposting to 12 weeks of exercise classes (standard delivery). In another two areas, programme users also received 12 weeks of free tailored exercise classes, with optional exercise ‘buddies’ available (enhanced group).

Of the 3410 individuals that were referred onto Active Herts, 81.3% participated in the programme. Statistically significant improvements were apparent for self-reported moderate and vigorous activity, mental wellbeing, life satisfaction, Motivation, and Capability, from baseline to each point of follow up (3, 6, and 12 months). Additionally, a statistically significant reduction was seen for mean minutes of self-reported sitting per day. The largest changes amongst outcomes were observed between baseline and the first follow up (3 months); for example, self-reported levels of moderate to vigorous activity rose from 67 minutes a week, to 218 minutes at first follow-up, with smaller 231 and 251 minute increases at subsequent follow-up points.
Short titleActive Herts

ID: 17012185