Article Text

PDF
More real-world trials are needed to establish if web-based physical activity interventions are effective
  1. Corneel Vandelanotte1,
  2. Mitch J Duncan2,
  3. Gregory S Kolt3,
  4. Cristina M Caperchione4,
  5. Trevor N Savage5,
  6. Anetta Van Itallie1,
  7. Christopher Oldmeadow6,
  8. Stephanie J Alley1,
  9. Rhys Tague7,
  10. Anthony J Maeder8,
  11. Richard R Rosenkranz9,
  12. W Kerry Mummery10
  1. 1Physical Activity Research Group, School of Health, Medical and Applied Science, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2School of Medicine and Public Health, Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  3. 3School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Faculty of Health, Human Performance Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia
  6. 6Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  7. 7School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, Western Sydney University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  8. 8College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  9. 9Department of Food Nutrition Dietetics and Health, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA
  10. 10Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Corneel Vandelanotte, Physical Activity Research Group, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, QLD 4700, Australia; c.vandelanotte{at}cqu.edu.au

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Despite the positive health benefits of physical activity, physical inactivity remains highly prevalent.1 To address this public health issue, population-based interventions that can effectively reach large numbers of people at low cost are needed.2 Numerous randomised controlled trials (RCT) have examined the effectiveness of web-based physical activity interventions, and overall, these intervention studies have found to increase participants’ physical activity levels.3 Few studies, however, have examined how well these interventions work in ‘real world’ or ecologically valid settings, where there are no repeated contacts with research staff, comprehensive assessments or incentives.4 A recent systematic review examined mobile health (mHealth) clinical trial study methodology for trials conducted in 2014 and 2015 and did not identify a single ecological trial, yet RCTs were dominant (80%, 51/71).5

To address this, we conducted two studies using the same web-based physical activity interventions: a RCT and a randomised ecological trial (RET).6 7 For the RCT, 504 inactive participants were randomised into either a control group or intervention group using the existing Australian 10000 Steps website or a new website with social network features that included annotation, messaging and group-publishing, as well as ‘status updates’, inviting ‘friends’ and personalised profile pages (WALK 2.0).7 Outcomes (accelerometer-based activity monitoring, Active Australia Survey questionnaire,8 website usage) were assessed at 0, 3, 12 and 18 months. For the RET, 1328 adults spontaneously signing up for the free 10000 Steps website were randomised into either the 10000 Steps website or the WALK 2.0 website. …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.