How to Increase Men’s Physical Activity
Friendly competition attracts male group ex participants.
Program directors who are vying to attract male participants to group exercise classes may want to consider men-only programming. The sessions that most effectively increase physical activity in men reflect their values and interests, include regular group contact, and employ multiple behavior change strategies, according to a review of 24 studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2020; 54 ).
Researchers noted that the most successful strategies for retaining male participants used simple, straightforward messages; images and humor; realistic recommendations; and flexible options promoting self-reliance and mastery.
Men seemed to be “drawn to programmes where they can connect with men similar to themselves, in a ‘male-friendly’ environment and engage in friendly banter and competition,” reported study authors. The most effective programs—yielding significantly greater physical activity improvements—involved contact with participants at least once a week. The researchers encouraged development of more gender-tailored programs to attract, engage and retain men.
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