Objective: To determine whether a health-promotion intervention increases South African men's adherence to physical-activity guidelines.
Method: We utilized a cluster-randomized controlled trial design. Eligible clusters, residential neighborhoods near East London, South Africa, were matched in pairs. Within randomly selected pairs, neighborhoods were randomized to theory-based, culturally congruent health-promotion intervention encouraging physical activity or attention-matched HIV/STI risk-reduction control intervention. Men residing in the neighborhoods and reporting coitus in the previous 3 months were eligible. Primary outcome was self-reported individual-level adherence to physical-activity guidelines averaged over 6-month and 12-month post-intervention assessments. Data were collected in 2007–2010. Data collectors, but not facilitators or participants, were blind to group assignment.
Results: Primary outcome intention-to-treat analysis included 22 of 22 clusters and 537 of 572 men in the health-promotion intervention and 22 of 22 clusters and 569 of 609 men in the attention-control intervention. Model-estimated probability of meeting physical-activity guidelines was 51.0% in the health-promotion intervention and 44.7% in attention-matched control (OR = 1.34; 95% CI, 1.09–1.63), adjusting for baseline prevalence and clustering from 44 neighborhoods.
Conclusion: A theory-based culturally congruent intervention increased South African men's self-reported physical activity, a key contributor to deaths from non-communicable diseases in South Africa.
Published in Volume 64, pages 114-120