This infographic, “Sitting is the New Smoking,” was designed after reading several medical articles about the dangers of obesity and extended sitting, comparing the effects of sitting to those of smoking. The infographic contains visually unpleasant pictures and words, as well as frightening statistics, and content people are going to be interested in consuming and sharing. First, the content is about health concerns for an activity that most of us do or have loved ones that do a lot of—sitting. The research shows that sitting leads to obesity and the impact is growing much greater and worse than the effects of smoking on the human population. The graphic takes readers through the catchy headline, research, statistics about sitting and diseases from that, and then gives tips for how to improve. Through statistics, visuals, and concerning bold words, this infographic will catch people’s attention (“WARNING”), and play on people’s anxieties and fears to keep reading and share with loved ones. The text calls upon readers to share the information with people (and provides social media links) because the consequences of sitting for too long are so great.
The viral strategy for this infographic was to 1) promote content that is surprising, concerning, and relatively timely, 2) target the health-concerned, anxious audience which is a huge population, 3) show the effects of sitting in a visually pleasing way, include relevant information that may keep people wanting to learn more, and 4) keep people reading and sharing through interesting statistics, attractive pictures, and shocking information. The infographic is certainly dramatic and provocative, but also applies to most people; we all sit for extended periods of time, whether we like it or not. This could be forwarded through offices, schools, and other networks very quickly. We all know that obesity and lack of exercise are bad, but this infographic tells us that it isn’t enough to exercise, people need to get up and move often. With the catchy title, this could become a hashtag or tagline for several things. The infographic will go viral because it motivates people to take action, both by sharing the content and by standing up and moving away from their computers. To release this infographic, it can be embedded on several sites, especially health websites. Furthermore, it can be tweeted to public health forums and shared with Facebook groups, along with plain-old emailing to especially sedentary friends and loved ones.