Man on the move: an investigation of a ‘real world’ community – based physical activity programme for adult men
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Background: The burden of ill-health and mortality experienced by men across the developed world has prompted calls for more gender-sensitised, health interventions that appeal to men. Using physical activity as a ‘hook’, ‘Men on the Move’ (MOM) is a community-based physical activity (CBPA) programme designed to engage inactive and ‘at risk’ men to improve their health and well-being. This thesis reports on the profile of men who engaged in MOM, the impact of the programme on their health and well being, and evaluates the cost-effectiveness of the programme. Methods: Inactive males (n=927) were recruited across 8 counties (4 ‘intervention’ [n=501]; 4 ‘comparison-in-waiting’ [n=426]). Self-administered questionnaires combined with objective outcome measures (weight, waist circumference (WC) and time-to-complete one mile) were used to assess participants at baseline, 12, 26 and 52 weeks (W). Results: Findings indicate that the programme succeeded in reaching its target population with the majority presenting as inactive (59.2%), overweight/obese (89.7%) and having at least two cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors (53.1%). Results post intervention at 12W, 26W and 52W time-points (p≤0.05) respectively found 73%, 71% and 52% achieved a 1 MET increase in fitness; 14%, 16% and 22% achieved a 5% reduction in bodyweight; and 49%, 46% and 43% achieved a 5cm reduction in WC. The corresponding reduction in CVD risk was noteworthy, particularly in the context of a previously inactive and overweight cohort. The strategy was less successful in engaging more marginalised or ‘hard to reach’ groups. An economic evaluation also found MOM to be cost-effective. Conclusions: A gender-sensitised, community outreach recruitment strategy can maximise reach and recruitment of an ‘at risk’ cohort for CBPA initiatives, but a more targeted approach is needed when recruiting marginalised groups of men. Notwithstanding dropout issues, MOM is effective, and cost-effective, in delivering significant long-term health improvements in previously inactive men.
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