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Activity tracker gets young men moving again

29/04/2021

Most adolescent males are not sufficiently physically active and a new finding shows that activity trackers and digital coaching services could be effective ways to promote more active lifestyles.

In a recent PhD Thesis commissioned by University of Oulu, the effectiveness of Polar Active, in addition to a gamified web-based mobile service, was evaluated in promoting physical activity (PA) amongst 18-year old men.

Polar Active activity trackers that provided daily activity goals and feedback were used in two large randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for durations of three- and six-months. In a second trial, the intervention also included access to a mobile service developed in the study.

The first, three-month trial had a short-term positive effect on daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time in the intervention group. The positive change in sedentary time was sustained for longer.

During the six-month trial, a positive trend in favor of the intervention group was observed in daily MVPA. A low amount of daily vigorous PA at baseline was associated with the increase in MVPA.

The information provided by this study can be utilized in the future development of technology-based health services for activating young people.

Link to thesis: http://jultika.oulu.fi/Record/isbn978-952-62-2887-7

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