Evaluating an Internet-Based Program and a Behavioral Coach for Increasing Physical Activity

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Abstract

One factor that has been linked to reduction in body fat and the health problems associated with obesity is increasing physical activity. In-person behavioral interventions have been shown to effectively increase physical activity, and focus has shifted to increasing the accessibility of these interventions through the use of technology. The purpose of this study was to evaluate Fitbit, a web-based behavioral intervention for increasing physical activity. Additionally, this study examined whether contact from a behavioral coach through videoconference and e-mail enhanced the effectiveness of this program. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Fitbit program across 7 participants, with and without a behavioral coach, in a multiple-baseline across participants design. Step counts were recorded by a Fitbit accelerometer as a measure of physical activity. The Fitbit program alone increased physical activity for 3 of 7 participants, and the addition of the behavioral coach resulted in further increases in mean step counts for all 6 participants.

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