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Use It And Lose It: Fitbit Use, Daily Steps, And Weight Change Among Overweight Adults193 Board #14 May 31 1100 AM - 1230 PM

Larsen, Chelsea A.; Monroe, Courtney M.; West, Delia S.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2017 - Volume 49 - Issue 5S - p 32
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000516903.76492.dd
A-40 Free Communication/Poster - Activity Interventions and Programming in Adults I Wednesday, May 31, 2017, 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM Room: Hall F

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. (Sponsor: Sara Wilcox, FACSM)

(No relationships reported)

Despite the increasing proliferation of advanced wearable physical activity tracking devices (e.g., Fitbit Zip), their value as tools for physical activity promotion and weight loss remains unclear.

PURPOSE: As part of a pilot intervention trial that examined the efficacy of a novel social support approach for enhancing weight loss, participants were provided with a Fitbit Zip to monitor their physical activity. The current study examined the relationships between Fitbit use and change in weight and daily steps over 4 months.

METHODS: Overweight adults (N=36) were randomized to either a standard or social support-enhanced, 16-week behavioral weight loss intervention. In addition to a Fitbit Zip, both groups received weekly, in-person group counseling sessions and digital body weight scales. Participants in the social-support enhanced group received two extra Fitbits and scales to share with up to two persons in their social circle. There were no significant differences between conditions, so analyses collapsed groups and examined the full sample. Paired t-tests were used to evaluate changes in weight and daily steps from baseline to post-treatment. Spearman rank correlation coefficients were calculated to test the associations between the total number of days the Fitbit was used (out of 112 days) and changes in daily steps and weight. Fitbit use was objectively established by weekly monitoring of synced data from the Fitbit website.

RESULTS: At baseline, participants were obese (M BMI= 36.1 + 7.3 kg/m2) and low active (M=5546 + 2390 steps/d). Weight losses averaged -3.5+4.3 kg (p<.0001) and daily steps increased an average of 1101+2395 (p=.009) over baseline. Participants used the Fitbit an average of 5.9+2.5 days/wk. A significant correlation between total number of days the Fitbit was used and weight loss such that there was greater use of Fitbit was associated with greater weight loss (rs = -.60, p<.0001). A significant, positive correlation was found between the change in daily steps and the number of days the Fitbit was used (rs=.43, p=.008).

CONCLUSION: These preliminary findings suggest that advanced wearable physical activity trackers hold promise as tools for assisting with physical activity promotion and weight loss in adults within the context of a multi-component behavioral weight loss program.

© 2017 American College of Sports Medicine