Real-time multidimensional feedback from wearable physical activity monitors supports positive behaviour change in inactive adults.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Wearable monitors provide users with an opportunity to self-monitor progress across several health-harnessing dimensions of physical activity (PA) in real-time. Providing such feedback could enhance an individuals’ motivation for PA and their sense of PA-related autonomy, competence, and self-efficacy. This study aimed to investigate whether personalized realtime, multidimensional PA feedback supported changes in distinct dimensions of objectivelymeasured PA behaviour. Participants (n=51; mean age=51 years; 28 females) were randomized to either a 12-week self-monitoring intervention or a waiting-list control group. Intervention participants received a monitor, personalized web-application, and real-time display with personal targets to use for 6-weeks. A 6-week follow-up period was used. The primary outcome was objectivelymeasured physical activity at 12-weeks. Secondary outcomes were various health and psychosocial variables. One-to-one, semi-structured interviews were conducted with intervention participants after the follow-up assessment. Quantitative data were analysed via ANCOVA, and qualitative data analysed thematically. Intervention participants significantly improved their PA level (12-week mean difference [95%CI]=0.09[0.02-0.15],p=0.011,η2=0.13), daily moderate PA (23.6[-0.1-45.4] minutes,p=0.047,η2=0.08), weekly moderate-to-vigorous PA bouts (195.2[58.1-330.8] minutes,p=0.013,η2=0.13) and steps (1545[581-2553] steps/day,p=0.021,η2=0.11) but not sedentary time or vigorous activity. These effects were more pronounced in females and in those with lower baseline activity. The intervention groups’ perceived competence, autonomous motivation and barrier self-efficacy significantly improved relative to control participants while their extrinsic motivation decreased. Via rich qualitative data, intervention participants championed the impact of receiving personal targets and real-time data. Real-time feedback coupled with personalised multidimensional visual feedback appears to be a promising strategy for motivating positive changes in PA behaviour in inactive adults.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019


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