D-11 Thematic Poster - Wearables: Applications in Research and Practice Thursday, June 1, 2017, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Room: 304
Evidence is equivocal regarding the benefits of wearable technology for increasing physical activity. Use of these devices in combination with health coaching strategies like motivational interviewing (MI) may be more effective.
PURPOSE: The study examined if physical activity trackers increase activity levels in healthy adults and if the addition of MI results in greater benefits. A secondary purpose was to examine characteristics of those who were successful in increasing physical activity versus those who were not in order to determine who is more likely to benefit from this type of intervention.
METHODS: Ninety-four healthy men and women (mean age 41 ± 9 years) were randomly assigned to one of two groups for a 12-week intervention. Groups received either 1) a physical activity tracker (PAT) alone, or 2) a physical activity tracker and three sessions of MI (PAT+MI). Physical activity was assessed pre and post-intervention with accelerometers. Average steps per day were compared within and between groups pre- and post-intervention using paired and independent sample t-tests. Participants were then split into two groups based on whether they increased their mean daily step count from baseline. These post-hoc groups were then compared on demographic and baseline physical activity characteristics.
RESULTS: Complete data were collected on 84 individuals. Physical activity measured in average steps per day did not increase significantly for either group (PAT+MI – pre: 7496 ± 2895 steps/day, post: 7624 ± 3557 steps/day; PAT – pre: 7519 ± 2259 steps/day, post: 7097 ± 2179 steps/day; p>0.05); further, no group differences were observed (p>0.05). When comparing those who improved over the intervention to those who did not, there were no differences in demographic characteristics including age, gender, income, or education level. However, those who improved over the intervention accumulated significantly fewer steps at baseline (6650 ± 2056 vs. 8522 ± 2871, p < 0.0001).
CONCLUSION: The provision of a physical activity tracker (with or without brief MI sessions) was not sufficient to increase physical activity in this sample; however, individuals with low baseline activity achieved more significant benefits.