Step Up. Step Out!

step up step out

FUNDING SOURCE: National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health (R21)


CO-INVESTIGATORS: Sara Wilcox, PhD and Cheryl Addy, PhD

The principles of community-based participatory research were used to design, implement and evaluate a social marketing intervention to promote physical activity in partnership with a community coalition and local parks and recreation department.  Citizens of Sumter County, South Carolina provided detailed information about their opinions, preferences, and behaviors related to exercise and physical activity.  Based on this information, the Step Up. Step Out! materials were developed to help people become more active on their own.  The project had two components (1) media messages promoting physical activity to the whole community, but tailored to appeal to women and (2) a 24-week self-guided behavioral component for women ages 35-54.  Women who participated in the study for 24 weeks increased their level of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity by 40 minutes a day on average, and many of the participants who were overweight at the beginning lost weight.  These participants reported benefits from becoming more active, such as increased energy (64%), improved mood (62%), better physical health overall (57%), and increased self-confidence (52%).

Step Up. Step Out! materials are now available online and are appropriate for adults, men and women. Weekly behavioral tips, an exercise log, testimonials, safety tips and other information can be used help individuals become more physically active.  While some of the information, such as where to exercise, has been tailored to the project community in South Carolina, most of the tools and information can be used anywhere.


Click on the links below to view examples of the materials used in Step Up. Step Out!

Behavioral Tips

Recruitment billboard
Physical activity promotion billboard

Physical Activity Promotion Articles
Article #1
Article #2

Newspaper Ads
Recruitment ad #1
Recruitment ad #2

Physical activity promotion ad #1
Physical activity promotion ad #2
Physical activity promotion ad #3
Physical activity promotion ad #4

Radio Spots
Recruitment spot

Physical activity promotion spot

Television Spots
Recruitment spot

Physical activity promotion spot #1 (1 min, 23 sec.)
Physical activity promotion spot #2 (30 sec)

Recruitment Flier

Participant Materials
Orientation packet
Exercise log
Exercise goal log
Step Up. Step Out! brochure

Website Promotion
Web promotion #1 (1 min, 11 sec)
Web promotion #2 (32 sec)


Burroughs, E., Peck, L., Sharpe, P., Granner, M., Bryant, C., & Fields, R. (2006). Using focus groups in the consumer research of a social marketing program to promote moderate intensity physical activity. Preventing Chronic Disease [serial online], 3(1):A08. Available from: URL:

Granner, M.L., Sharpe, P.A., Burroughs, E.L., Fields, R., Hallenbeck, J. (2010). Newspaper content analysis in evaluation of a community-based participatory project to increase physical activity. Health Education Research, 25, 656-667.

Granner, M.L., Sharpe, P.A., Hutto, B., Wilcox, S., Addy, C.L. (2007).  Perceived individual, social and environmental factors for physical activity and walking.  Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 4(3), 278-293.

Hutto, B., Sharpe, P. A., Granner, M. L., Addy, C., & Hooker, S. P. (2008). The effect of question order on reporting physical actiivty and walking behavior. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 5(Suppl1):S16-29.

Peck, L., Sharpe, P., Burroughs, E., & Granner, M. (2008). Recruitment Strategies and Costs for a Community-Based Physical Activity Program. Health Promotion Practice, 9(2):191-198.

Sharpe, P.A., Burroughs, E.L., Granner, M.L., Wilcox, S., Hutto, B.E., Bryant, C.A., Peck, L., Pekuri, L. (2010) Impact of a community-based prevention marketing intervention to promote physical activity among middle-aged women. Health Education and Behavior, 37(3):403-423.

Sharpe, P. A., Granner, M.L., Wilcox, S., Hutto, B., Peck, L., Addy, C. (2008).  Correlates of physical activity among African American and Caucasian women.    American Journal of Health Behavior, 32(6) Nov/Dec, 701-713.

Wilcox S, Sharpe PA, Hutto B, Granner ML (2005). Psychometric properties of the Self-efficacy for Exercise Questionnaire in a diverse sample of men and women. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2(3):285-297.