Using internet and mobile phone technology to deliver an automated physical activity program: Randomized controlled trial

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  2. Professor Mike Catt
Author(s)Hurling R, Catt M, Boni MD, Fairley BW, Hurst T, Murray P, Richardson A, Sodhi JS
Publication type Article
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Year2007
Volume9
Issue2
Pages
ISSN (print)1438-8871
ISSN (electronic)1439-4456
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Background: The Internet has potential as a medium for health behavior change programs, but no controlled studies have yet evaluated the impact of a fully automated physical activity intervention over several months with real-time objective feedback from a monitor. Objective: The aim was to evaluate the impact of a physical activity program based on the Internet and mobile phone technology provided to individuals for 9 weeks. Methods: A single-center, randomized, stratified controlled trial was conducted from September to December 2005 in Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, with 77 healthy adults whose mean age was 40.4 years (SD=7.6) and mean body mass index was 26.3 (SD=3.4). Participants were randomized to a test group that had access to an Internet and mobile phone-based physical activity program (n=47) or to a control group (n=30) that received no support. The test group received tailored solutions for perceived barriers, a schedule to plan weekly exercise sessions with mobile phone and email reminders, a message board to share their experiences with others, and feedback on their level of physical activity. Both groups were issued a wrist-worn accelerometer to monitor their level of physical activity; only the test group received real-time feedback via the Internet. The main outcome measures were accelerometer data and self-report of physical activity. Results: At the end of the study period, the test group reported a significantly greater increase over baseline than did the control group for perceived control (P <.001) and intention/expectation to exercise (P <.001). Intent-to-treat analyses of both the accelerometer data (P=.02) and leisure time self-report data (P=.03) found a higher level of moderate physical activity in the test group. The average increase (over the control group) in accelerometer-measured moderate physical activity was 2 h 18 min per week. The test group also lost more percent body fat than the control group (test group: -2.18, SD=0,59; control group: -0.17, SD=0.81; P=.04). Conclusions: A fully automated Internet and mobile phone-based motivation and action support system can significantly increase and maintain the level
PublisherJournal of Medical Internet Research
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.9.2.e7
DOI10.2196/jmir.9.2.e7
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