Technology and Physical activity Motivation
This is an analysis of a journal article of "Using Internet and Mobile phone Technology to Deliver an Automated Physical Activity Program: Randomised Controlled Trial, Hurling, R. et al
Using Internet and Mobile phone Technology to Deliver an Automated Physical Activity Program; Randomised controlled trial
1. What is the background to this research?
Physical inactivity is a growing problem throughout society in today's population. With physical inactivity on the increase as well as mobile phone technology, the question is; can one be used to improve the other. Instead of causing the issue. Before 2005 no research had been done. So an objective to do so was put into action.
2. Where is the research from?
The participants were a local community group which were first contacted by a research market and then had to completed a screening test conducted over the phone. All up there were a total of 140 people contacted, which then got narrowed down to 77 people in the group that carried out the test in the testing centre. The research was conducted in Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, 2005, based on a healthy group of adults with the mean age of 40.4 and a mean body mass index of 26.3.
3. What kind of research was this?
This was a controlled study with the participants being placed into two groups, (group) and (control). It used a mixed method; being both quantitate and qualitative. involving surveys, and experimental procedures with naturalistic observation. It was a 12 week trial all up, first 3 weeks being baseline and the following 9 weeks being the testing block.
4. What did the research involve?
The research involved the group of Adults having access to the internet and a mobile phone based activity program application downloaded on the devices. They were taken to a testing centre where they were given these devices and had access to the internet. The participant were then split up into two groups, there was the controlled group; this group had no support at all, there weren't given any real time feedback. Second group was the test group, they were given tailored solutions, schedules for weekly exercise sessions with mobiles and reminders. This group were also able to share their thoughts, experiences and what activities they had done. Both groups were issued with a wrist monitor showing the level of physical activity. Only the test group were given real-time feedback via the internet.
5. What were the basic results?
The results showed a significantly greater increase over baseline then did the control group for perceived control and intention/ expectation to exercise. By using results from the wrist monitor and self reports, analysis show a higher level of moderate physical activity in the test group. The average increase in the control group in accelerometer-mesasured moderate physical activity was 2h, 18min per week. The test group also lost more percent body fat than the control group.
6. How did the researchers interpret the results?
Researchers interpreted the results, that by tracking activity programmes on individual basis using internet-based behavioural changes increased healthier lifestyles.
7. What conclusions should be taken away from this research?
Researchers concluded that internet-based behavioural change interventions which minimised human interaction and therefore increasing cost effectiveness, with on hand any time accessibility, made an increased difference to those who were made aware. The tested group which also had access to advice from therapists via email help change health behaviours. However, no studies pr research has recognised the effect of fully automated internet-based systems, which should be taken into account.
8. What are the implications of this research?
Implications also concluded that internet and email based system can fail to hold participant interest. Research in the comparison of similar systems but varying levels of interactivity found that the more interactive the system was, the higher the chance of retaining participants.
Hurling, R. et al (2007) 'Using Internet and Mobile phone Technology to Deliver an Automated Physical Activity Program: Randomised Controlled Trial' in the United Kingdom, Apr-Jun 2007. Journal of Medical Internet Research vol 9(2): e7