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SMS Messages Help People Build Health Habits

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Apr 29, 2009

Mind-Body-Spirit News

If you’re sending motivating messages to clients via cell phone short-message service (SMS), keep it up. A research review of studies, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2009; 36 [2], 165–73), noted that SMS-delivered interventions have positive short-term behavioral results. Researchers from the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland, in Australia, found 14 studies that had evaluated SMS interventions and were published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. All but one found that the intervention had a positive effect on behavior change.

The SMS messaging programs in these studies successfully helped people quit smoking, lose weight, exercise more or successfully manage diabetes. The benefits of this type of communication include the fact that it has a wide reach, can be individually tailored, and can be delivered and received instantaneously.

Fitness Journal, Volume 6, Issue 5

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© 2009 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 based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at