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Getting online to get active in Dunedin with MoveMe

Getting online to get active in Dunedin with MoveMe

Public health Association media release, 7 September 2015

Embargoed until 12.30pm 7 September 2015

Dunedin is a wonderful city in which to enjoy better health by getting free exercise and being active, but not all Dunedin residents know just what’s already on offer, the Public Health Association Conference was told in Dunedin today.

Getting Active Dunedin Project Manager Ruth Zeinert told delegates about the MoveMe campaign which has been developed as part of Getting Dunedin Active, Dunedin’s Physical Activity Strategy.

“As we were developing and researching this strategy it became abundantly clear that Dunedin people had a low level of awareness around the resources, opportunities and physical activity providers in their city and in their neighbourhoods. We saw this as a significant barrier to participation in physical activity.

“A lot of organisations were providing and promoting activity in the area, but most were doing this in isolation and there weren’t a lot of partnership strategies in place. Addressing this was one of the motivations behind setting up Getting Dunedin Active in the first place.

“MoveMe was created to address these findings, by providing an online information hub that so people can easily access information about being active in Dunedin and meet current minimum activity guidelines.”

MoveMe is available at www.moveme.org.nz and is supported by an active Facebook page and a number of other communication channels, including blogs and a number of activity maps. The site receives approximately 30 visits per day and its primary targets are young adults through to older adults who are not regularly active, but have the intention of becoming more active.

After three years of running, MoveMe has been evaluated by the University of Otago’s School of Physical Education using Invercargill as a comparison/control city. Postal surveys were used to compare the physical activity behaviour of residents of Dunedin with those of Invercargill as well as to gauge how people’s attitudes and motivations towards physical activity had changed over those three years.

Although MoveMe did not fully reach its objective of increasing the number of people meeting the recommended levels of activity by 2 percent, participants did say they felt more able to increase their activity levels and that their attitudes towards exercise were more positive. They said they knew more about what was offered in their area and most thought the local authority was doing enough for its residents in relation to physical activity.

“Data showed awareness of the MoveMe logo had risen to 26 percent from just 15 percent in 2002 and that 23 percent of Dunedin residents were aware of the MoveMe campaign (up from 11 percent in 2013). Twenty-seven percent said the campaign had made them think about changing their behaviour, so we think these are very promising results,” Ruth Zeinert said.

“I think one of our key messages is that you don’t always have to be looking for new things; yourlocal environment already has a lot available. People just don’t always know what’s out there!”

She said the next phase will include seeking increased input from local businesses and individuals, many of which are eager to support community wellbeing. They will also be looking at improvements that could be made arising from the evaluation.

“Collaborative projects take work (and dedicated resources) to be successful, but we think we’ve made an excellent start in helping Dunedin residents who want to be more active get the most out of what our wonderful city already has to give them!”


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