Effect of an Automatic Physical Activity Detection & Feedback System in Promoting Exercise Compliance of a Virtual Trainer Project: A Randomized Control Trial
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings


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AbstractWith advances in smartphone technology, automatic physical activity (PA) detection and feedback applications that integrate with movement measuring devices (such as smartphone apps and heart rate watches) have become widely available and popularized. However, it is not known whether such automatic systems provide any additional advantage in motivating exercise compliance compared to traditional self-report systems.

PURPOSE: To investigate if the integration of an automatic PA detection and feedback system provides any additional advantage in motivating exercise compliance as compared to a traditional self-report PA system.

METHOD: We developed a Virtual Trainer (VT) exercise promotion project that encourages exercise compliance via a website and a smartphone application. A total of 119 inactive adults entered a randomized control trial under one of the following three conditions: 1.) VT with a heart rate watch that allows automatic PA detection and feedback, or 2.) VT with self-reported PA record, or 3.) no VT (control) with self-reported PA participation. Exercise compliance data were retrieved from the VT PA record and a PA questionnaire (IPAQ) was collected at pre-, post-, and 3-months after intervention (maintenance).

RESULTS: All three groups improved PA compliance significantly (p< .01), although a slight drop at maintenance was observed. Two- way repeated measured ANCOVA (age & gender as covariates) found significant time effects (p< .01) but no interaction effect (p> .05). The IPAQ revealed that PA compliance in both VT conditions improved by more than double after intervention. Changes in exercise compliance between the three conditions were not different.

CONCLUSION: In a web-based + smartphone app interactive exercise promotion program that promotes self-management of regular exercise training, the inclusion of an automatic physical activity detection and feedback system did not bring additional benefits compared to a traditional self-reported PA recording system.
Acceptance Date07/02/2018
All Author(s) ListStanley Sai-chuen Hui, Ron Chi-wai Kwok, Eric Wai-cheung Tam, Winnie Wing-sze Mak, Phoenix Kit-han Mo
Name of ConferenceACSM's 65th Annual Meeting & 9th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine
Start Date of Conference29/05/2018
End Date of Conference02/06/2018
Place of ConferenceMinneapolis, Minnesota
Country/Region of ConferenceUnited States of America
Proceedings TitleMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Year2018
Month5
Volume Number50
Issue NumberSupplement 5
PublisherWolters Kluwer
Place of PublicationThe United State of America
Pages65 - 65
ISSN0195-9131
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsSport promotion, Online training program

Last updated on 2020-25-05 at 00:05