Happy Trails: The Effect of a Media Campaign on Urban Trail use in Southern Nevada

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Background: Many Americans do not meet recommendations for physical activity (PA). Communities are building trail networks to encourage PA, but the relationship between trails and PA is not well understood. Methods: We monitored usage of urban trails (N = 10) in Las Vegas, NV, before and after a promotional marketing campaign (October 2011 and April 2012). The media campaign featured print, online, and radio ads, as well as billboards and signage on gas pumps. Data were collected with infrared monitors that were placed on the trails for periods of 7 days. We compared preintervention and postintervention usage rates. Results: Mean usage increased (P < .001) from 3.91 to 5.95 users per hour (52.17%) after the promotional campaign. We observed significant increases at 7 individual trails, significant declines at 2 trails, and no change at 1 trail. Conclusion: Promotional campaigns may be an effective way to increase trail usage and encourage PA.


environment design; health promotion/methods; urban population; physical activity

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