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E-18 Thematic Poster - Novel Approaches to Improve Physical Activity Friday, May 30, 2014, 9: 30 AM - 11: 30 AM Room: 102 B

Usability of Mobile Phones in Physical Activity-related Research

A Systematic Review

2248 Board #3 May 30, 9

30 AM - 11

30 AM

Monroe, Courtney M.; Thompson, Dixie L. FACSM; Bassett, David R. Jr. FACSM; Fitzhugh, Eugene C.; Raynor, Hollie A.

Author Information
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2014 - Volume 46 - Issue 5S - p 594
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000495254.66691.dd
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A substantial percentage of adults and youth in the U.S. and world do not participate in the levels of physical activity (PA) necessary to achieve health benefits. Mobile phones represent a potential tool for the facilitation of PA participation and data collection given their extraordinary reach, convenience, and diverse features.

PURPOSE: To carry out a systematic review of research focused on the use, efficacy, and practicality of mobile phones as a tool for encouraging and assessing PA.

METHODS: Eligible studies were identified through a search of PubMed and PsycINFO. To be eligible for inclusion, studies were required to address the usability of mobile phones as a medium for the promotion and/or measurement of PA, be written in English, and be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

RESULTS: Eighty unique studies resulting in 88 publications were included in this review. The usability of mobile phones as a tool for PA promotion and data collection was addressed in 65 and 36 publications, respectively. Multiple mobile phone features, ranging from short message service (SMS) to smartphone applications, were employed across studies. Forty-seven of the 80 reviewed studies applied SMS, making it the most commonly used mobile phone feature. Mobile phone applications were applied in 37 of the 80 reviewed studies. Mobile phones commonly served as a platform for self-monitoring, education, and social support in studies that used them as a PA behavior change tool. Thirty-seven such studies reported PA behavior outcomes, and 17 of these studies observed favorable changes, 7 found mixed results, and 13 found no significant changes. Eleven of the 80 reviewed studies examined the validity of mobile phones as a PA data collection tool and 10 reported favorable outcomes. In 19 additional studies, mobile phones were used to collect PA data for other purposes without any major issues. Participants found the use of mobile phones for PA purposes to be highly acceptable in 24 out of 25 studies that reported this outcome.

CONCLUSION: Mobile phones have great potential as a tool for the efficacious facilitation and valid assessment of PA. They also seem to be both useful and practical. Future theoretically-based, small-scale and population-based studies centered on mobile phones (especially smartphones) and physical activity are warranted.

© 2014 American College of Sports Medicine