Article

A Social Media–Based Physical Activity Intervention

Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Electronic address: .
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 11/2012; 43(5):527-32. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.07.019
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Online social networks, such as Facebook™, have extensive reach, and they use technology that could enhance social support, an established determinant of physical activity. This combination of reach and functionality makes online social networks a promising intervention platform for increasing physical activity.
To test the efficacy of a physical activity intervention that combined education, physical activity monitoring, and online social networking to increase social support for physical activity compared to an education-only control.
RCT. Students (n=134) were randomized to two groups: education-only controls receiving access to a physical activity-focused website (n=67) and intervention participants receiving access to the same website with physical activity self-monitoring and enrollment in a Facebook group (n=67). Recruitment and data collection occurred in 2010 and 2011; data analyses were performed in 2011.
Female undergraduate students at a large southeastern public university.
Intervention participants were encouraged through e-mails, website instructions, and moderator communications to solicit and provide social support related to increasing physical activity through a physical activity-themed Facebook group. Participants received access to a dedicated website with educational materials and a physical activity self-monitoring tool.
The primary outcome was perceived social support for physical activity; secondary outcomes included self-reported physical activity.
Participants experienced increases in social support and physical activity over time but there were no differences in perceived social support or physical activity between groups over time. Facebook participants posted 259 times to the group. Two thirds (66%) of intervention participants completing a post-study survey indicated that they would recommend the program to friends.
Use of an online social networking group plus self-monitoring did not produce greater perceptions of social support or physical activity as compared to education-only controls. Given their promising features and potential reach, efforts to further understand how online social networks can be used in health promotion should be pursued.
This study is registered at clinicaltrials.govNCT01421758.

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Available from: Jane D Brown, May 28, 2015
    • "Study Criteria 1 Criteria 2 Criteria 3 Criteria 4 Criteria 5 Criteria 6 Criteria 7 Criteria 8 Criteria 9 Criteria 10 Classification 1. Abu-Moghli et al. 2010 [1] 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 ∅ 2. Afifi Soweid et al. 2003 [69] 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 − 3. Alpar et al. 2008 [67] 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 ∅ 4. Bowden et al. 2007 [37] 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 ∅ 5. Boyle et al. 2011 [38] 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 ∅ 6. Brown et al. 2011 [39] 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 ∅ 7. Buscemi et al. 2011 [40] 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 ∅ 8. Cardinal et al. 2002 [41] 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 ∅ 9. Cavallo et al. 2012 [19] "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective . Evaluate the literature on interventions targeting tertiary education staff within colleges and universities for improvements in health behaviors such as physical activity, dietary intake, and weight loss. Data Source . One online database, Medline, was searched for literature published between January 1970 and February 2013. Study Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria . All quantitative study designs, including but not limited to randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental studies, nonrandomized experimental trials, cohort studies, and case-control studies, were eligible. Data Extraction . Data extraction was performed by one reviewer using a standardized form developed by the researchers. Extraction was checked for accuracy and consistency by a second reviewer. Data Synthesis . Data in relation to the above objective were extracted and described in a narrative synthesis. Results . Seventeen studies were identified that focused on staff within the tertiary education setting. The review yielded overall positive results with 13 reporting significant health-related improvements. Weight loss, physical activity and fitness, and/or nutrition were the focus in more than half (n = 9) of the studies. Conclusion . This appears to be the first review to examine health interventions for tertiary education staff. There is scope to enhance cross-disciplinary collaboration in the development and implementation of a "Healthy University" settings-based approach to health promotion in tertiary education workplaces. Universities or colleges could serve as a research platform to evaluate such intervention strategies.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · American journal of health promotion: AJHP
    • "Study Criteria 1 Criteria 2 Criteria 3 Criteria 4 Criteria 5 Criteria 6 Criteria 7 Criteria 8 Criteria 9 Criteria 10 Classification 1. Abu-Moghli et al. 2010 [1] 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 ∅ 2. Afifi Soweid et al. 2003 [69] 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 − 3. Alpar et al. 2008 [67] 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 ∅ 4. Bowden et al. 2007 [37] 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 ∅ 5. Boyle et al. 2011 [38] 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 ∅ 6. Brown et al. 2011 [39] 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 ∅ 7. Buscemi et al. 2011 [40] 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 ∅ 8. Cardinal et al. 2002 [41] 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 ∅ 9. Cavallo et al. 2012 [19] "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective. Evaluate the literature on interventions targeting tertiary education staff within colleges and universities for improvements in health behaviors such as physical activity, dietary intake, and weight loss. Data Source. One online database, Medline, was searched for literature published between January 1970 and February 2013. Study Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria. All quantitative study designs, including but not limited to randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental studies, nonrandomized experimental trials, cohort studies, and case-control studies, were eligible. Data Extraction. Data extraction was performed by one reviewer using a standardized form developed by the researchers. Extraction was checked for accuracy and consistency by a second reviewer. Data Synthesis. Data in relation to the above objective were extracted and described in a narrative synthesis. Results. Seventeen studies were identified that focused on staff within the tertiary education setting. The review yielded overall positive results with 13 reporting significant health-related improvements. Weight loss, physical activity and fitness, and/or nutrition were the focus in more than half (n = 9) of the studies. Conclusion. This appears to be the first review to examine health interventions for tertiary education staff. There is scope to enhance cross-disciplinary collaboration in the development and implementation of a “Healthy University” settings–based approach to health promotion in tertiary education workplaces. Universities or colleges could serve as a research platform to evaluate such intervention strategies.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · American journal of health promotion: AJHP
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    • "A recent systematic review identified four studies which have attempted to use Facebook to alter physical activity behaviours [13]. Three of these studies used a Facebook community group with a discussion board, and produced modest results [14], [15], [16]. A strength of Facebook is the ability to recruit users and deliver an intervention via online social networks. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Women’s physical activity levels decline during their transition to parenthood. Facebook is widely used by Australian mothers and provides the opportunity to target social networks in order to maintain and increase physical activity. Method This mixed method study aimed to pilot and assess the usability of the Mums Step It Up Facebook app, a new team-based physical activity intervention for mothers with young children. A purposive sample of five “Captain” women with young children, were recruited through personal contacts. These women used the app to recruit 3–7 Facebook friends (with children under 5) to join their respective teams (total n = 25). The app encourages women to take 10,000 steps a day measured by a pedometer. Women used the app for 28 days to log steps, interact with team mates and monitor progress. Physical activity was assessed at two time points (baseline and final week) using the Active Australia Survey. Usability testing with the five “Captain” women took place over two one hour face-to-face sessions. A questionnaire seeking feedback on the app was completed at time point two. Results Participants’ total physical activity increased by an average of 177 minutes per week (p = 0.01). The complexity of the team forming process and issues using the Facebook environment, where a variety of devices and software platforms are used, was highlighted. Discussion A team-based Facebook app shows considerable promise for the recruitment and retention of participants to a social network-based physical activity intervention. A randomised controlled trial to further evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention is warranted.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · PLoS ONE
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