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

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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.

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