Physical Activity

The British Heart Foundation got Victoria Woods and other
female comedians to do 'The Angina Monologues' to warn
women about the risk of heart disease and how to prevent it

The importance of research
Good market research into the specific target group you want to reach can tell you two things. Firstly what you need to do to change their behaviour. This could be in terms of information, skills, attitudes or improvements in services. Secondly, it can also tell you how to reach them. This is important if they aren't interested in what you have to say. In this case they aren't likely to pick up your leaflet or notice a poster. But if you start from what they're interested in, you may be able to engage them in health this way. Below are some examples of how this might be done.

Pop music
Heidi Roizen had always used lyrics and music to help her in her life. When she needed to lose weight however, she couldn't find any music to help her. So she created the album Skinny Songs, with tracks including The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Skinny Jeans and Thin! It has been featured on Oprah and The Martha Stewart Show, as well as  ABC News. For more on using pop music click here.

Written word
The English Rugby Union teamed up with Mills and Boon to produce romantic novels that would persuade more women to go to rugby matches. Perhaps they could have gone one step further and written some to encourage them to actually play the game. For more on using books click here.

See the YouTube video above! For more on using comedy click here.

Computer games
At one time computer games and physical activity would have seen strange bed mates. Then along came Wii Fit and a whole new genre was born. For more on using computer games click here.

Football can be used with a variety of different target groups. There is even a Homeless World Cup. Soccer and other sports can also be used to tackle health issues other than physical activity. If you want ideas about how to work with colleagues to mutual benefit click here.  

Fashion and beauty
How far is fashion a barrier to some people doing more physical activity. Is important to offer a lycra-free, mega-brand free space for some groups to exercise? For more on fashion click here.

(For references click here and links click here.)

To download the whole 180 page report on using popular culture to tackle health inequalities click here

To download the PDF software to be able to view these files click here