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Text messages for encouraging physical activity Are they effective after the novelty effect wears off?

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2 Author(s)
Adity U. Mutsuddi ; School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA ; Kay Connelly

Many studies have found text messaging to be a promising medium for healthcare delivery. However, since the studies that successfully used text messages for encouraging physical activity were all short term (10 days to 3 weeks) and conducted with a small sample (n≤15), we do not know if people will not be motivated by these technologies after the novelty effect dies. In this paper, we present the results from a study conducted for a longer term (3 months) with a larger sample size (n=28) to discover if text messages are effective for encouraging physical activity once the novelty effect of the technology wears off. We chose a population of young adults (age 18-24) as they are one of the heaviest users of text messages. Measures of analysis included number of steps, message ratings, level of motivation and interviews. Our findings suggest that text messages are a good way for encouraging physical activity in young adults, even after the novelty effect wears off.

Published in:

2012 6th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth) and Workshops

Date of Conference:

21-24 May 2012