REPs UK PTIA REPS NZ

Real-Time Feedback Helps Adults Stick to Exercise

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Oct 20, 2011

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Are your clients trying to increase their exercise activity? You may want to support them by providing specific daily feedback via technology channels. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2011; 43 [8], 1568–74) reports that overweight adults were more likely to stick to an exercise program when they received real-time feedback on their progress; for example, “Super job on the physical activity. Try to repeat this tomorrow.” Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh wanted to examine the role of physical activity self-monitoring on weight loss and exercise adherence. Molly Conroy, MD, MPH, lead study author said, “Self-monitoring is important because it makes individuals aware of their current behaviors and encourages them to achieve a certain threshold of physical activity, whether it be achieving personal goals or meeting current national guidelines for physical activity.” Study subjects were overweight adults aged 18–59. They were assigned to one of three self-monitoring programs: paper records only, personal digital assistant (PDA) without daily feedback messages, or PDA with daily feedback messages. All participants self-monitored their daily eating and physical activity, took part in group sessions, and set daily dietary goals and weekly physical activity goals. Self-reported physical activity levels were measured at baseline and at 6 months. Results suggested that PDAs helped adults adhere to their exercise programs. Adults whose PDAs offered feedback messages adhered best to their programs, and adherence was linked to weight loss and high physical activity levels. Overweight adults who adhered well to self-monitoring and who met their weekly activity goals achieved more weight loss after 6 months than those who did not adhere to self-monitoring or who did not meet their weekly activity goals. Conroy added, “The feedback message tells the participant that ‘someone’ is paying attention, and this could provide powerful, positive reinforcement for exercising and achieving goals. Since [this] study, more people [have been] using smart phones instead of PDAs. We are looking to using smart-phone technology in our upcoming studies.”

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 8, Issue 11

© 2011 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA’s mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author base...

2 Comments

Trending Articles

How to Teach HIIT to Everyone

High-intensity interval training has been riding a wave of popularity, and it seems everyone wants to give it a try. However, intense interval training is nothing new. Group fitness instructors have b...

Mindful Walking

Walking can be more than just moving physically from one location to another. It can be a metaphor for your larger life journey. Things you&...

Nuts and Peanuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk and Prolong Lifespan

While there have been numerous studies in recent years touting the health benefits of nuts and peanuts, new research published online March ...

Smooth Move: Creative Additions to Consider for Smoothies

When looking for a quick breakfast or post-workout nourishment, almost nothing beats a smoothie. Whirl in the right ingredients and the blen...

20 IDEA World-Renowned Presenters Share Advice on Success and Happiness

We asked some of this year’s most influential and motivating IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenters to share the single piece of advice they would give another fitness/health pro to hel...

Cut Risk of Alzheimer’s with MIND Diet

Conservative adherence to a new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a paper published o...

Yes, You CAN Develop Better Eating Habits

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine...

7 Ways to Help a Client Boost Adherence

Once a client has decided to make nutritional changes to support weight loss, you can play a key role in developing an action plan that is m...

The Reason Your Clients Don't Achieve Their Goals

Lots of people hire personal trainers or join group fitness classes hoping to lose weight. Yet many fail to meet their goals. New research suggests that “progress bias”—overestimatin...

Recipe for Health: Picadillo-Stuffed Peppers

If you don’t believe that authentic Mexican cookery is “whole” and healthy, you need to take a deep dive into Mexico: The Cookbook (Phaidon 2014), the first truly comprehensive bible...

Show More