Cost analysis of Internet vs. print interventions for physical activity promotion

Beth A. Lewis, David M. Williams, Charles J. Neighbors, John M. Jakicic, Bess H. Marcus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the costs associated with Internet and print-based physical activity interventions. Method: The costs associated with delivering tailored print and Internet-based interventions were estimated from a randomized controlled physical activity trial (n = 167). The estimates were based on research assistant time sampling surveys, web development invoices, and other tracking procedures. Results: Web-development costs for the Internet intervention were $109,564. Taken together with the website hosting fees and staff costs, the cost per participant per month was $122.52. The cost of the print intervention was $35.81 per participant per month. However, in a break-even analysis, the Internet intervention became more cost efficient, relative to the print intervention, when the total number of participants exceeded 352. Conclusions: Relative to print-based interventions, Internet-based interventions may be a more cost efficient way to reach a large number of sedentary individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-249
Number of pages4
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part through a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (#HL69866) awarded to B. Marcus. There are no reported conflicts of interests among the authors. We thank Drs. Abby King and Deborah Tate for their assistance in the study design. We also thank Santina Ficara, B.S., Maureen Hamel, B.S., Jaime Longval, M.S., Regina Traficante, Ph.D., Kenny McParlin, and Susan Pinheiro, B.A., for their contributions to the conduct of this study. Finally, we thank Mary Ann Sevick for her feedback on the manuscript.


  • Exercise
  • Sedentary
  • Web


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