[en] The beneficial impact of physical activity (PA) has been extensively documented, with well-evidenced improved physical and mental health across lifespan, together with increased life expectancy. Yet, a lack of PA and increased sedentary lifestyle continue to represent a serious public health burden. Insufficient levels of physical inactivity have also been observed in adolescents, which is alarming, as PA levels may be transferred into adulthood. Given the ubiquitous use of smartphones by adolescents, these devices may offer feasible means to reach young populations and deliver an intervention aimed at increasing PA participation.
The aim of the current project, therefore, concerns the development, delivery and pilot-evaluation of a smartphone application intervention for adolescents 16-18 who are insufficiently active, in order to promote PA engagement and decrease sedentary time.
Overall, three independent studies were conducted. Within the first study, a scoping literature review was performed. The results present a range of evidence (both quantitative and qualitative) available on smartphone-based mHealth PA interventions as well as the development and evaluation trajectory of mHealth PA interventions and systematic theory- and evidence-based practices and methods that are implemented along this trajectory. Within the second study, a focus group discussion was conducted and features and components that are preferred by adolescents (aged 16-18) in apps promoting PA were identified. Finally, within our third study, the development and evaluation of the MAPA intervention were reported. The MAPA within-subject trial demonstrated that smartphone-based intervention produced significant reductions in sedentary time in adolescents during the first week of the trial. This trend, while remaining positive, diminished over time. Our findings indicate that there was no effect of the intervention on MET-based MVPA minutes, although the descriptive increase may give reason for further investigation. Although the results suggested no overall change in heart rate based MVPA minutes, the results from the change point analyses suggest that the personalized PA prompts significantly increased HR per minute (bpm) during the second week of the study. There were no significant increases in participants’ overall step count; however, the personalized PA prompts resulted in a marginally significant increased step counts per minute in the second week of the study.
These results suggest the feasibility and promise of smartphone-based PA interventions with personalized PA suggestions for adolescents. This study also provides first information and an example for researchers and practitioners on how to guide development of future smartphone-based mHealth PA interventions in adolescents. Future investigations should focus on the replication of these findings and testing the potential of scalability of such an intervention within larger population samples.
Research center :
- Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) > Institute for Health and Behaviour
Neurosciences & behavior
Author, co-author :
Domin, Alex ; University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE)
MOBILE APPLICATION FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: DEVELOPMENT OF A THEORY‐INFORMED, PERSONALIZED MHEALTH INTERVENTION FOR ADOLESCENTS (MAPA)
Defense date :
14 January 2022
Number of pages :
Unilu - University of Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
DOCTEUR DE L’UNIVERSITÉ DU LUXEMBOURG EN PSYCHOLOGIE