Deliver programs that are social and attractive: Part 1

This article summarizes the findings of a walkability study in Melbourne, Australia that compared programs using the EAST framework: “easy, attractive, social and timely.”

October 2, 2017 - Author: Monica Day, Michigan State University Extension

Unless people indeed walk, a walkable community does not make an impact on people’s quality of life. Programming is labor intensive so it’s important to execute the move effective ideas. How might groups decide which program to support? Choose strategies that are social, attractive or both to increase the chances of their success.

Change to Walking: Using “nudge’ interventions to get more people walking describes an assessment of walking behavior interventions following the make it easy, make it attractive, make it social and make it timely or EAST framework. The evaluation revealed that the most influential strategies were those that made walking attractive or social. These results reinforce the analysis of Pulitzer Prize winning author, Tina Rosenberg, in Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World. Attractive and social elements are shown to be powerful forces to encourage adoption of healthy behaviors.

Possibilities for programs that are social or attractive are endless. For example, I had read about the painted rock craze going on in Jackson all summer, but my family and I hadn’t gotten involved. When we finally stumbled upon a rock, I realized the potential for motivating more physical activity although that wasn’t the original intention of those who started the program. 

Additional articles in this series:

Deliver programs that are social and attractive: Part 2

Tags: civic engagement, community, livable communities, msu extension, planning, public policy

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