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Title: A Social Networking and Gamified App to Increase Physical Activity: Cluster RCT
Authors: Edney, SM 
Olds, TS
Ryan, JC
Vandelanotte, C
Plotnikoff, RC
Curtis, RG
Maher, CA
Keywords: Adult
Health Promotion
Mobile Applications
Quality of Life
Self Report
Social Networking
Issue Date: 1-Feb-2020
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Citation: Edney, SM, Olds, TS, Ryan, JC, Vandelanotte, C, Plotnikoff, RC, Curtis, RG, Maher, CA (2020-02-01). A Social Networking and Gamified App to Increase Physical Activity: Cluster RCT. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 58 (2) : e51-e62. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Introduction: Appealing approaches to increasing physical activity levels are needed. This study evaluated whether a social and gamified smartphone app (Active Team) could be one such approach. Study design: A 3-group cluster RCT compared the efficacy of Active Team with a basic self-monitoring app and waitlist control group. Setting/participants: Australian adults (N=444, mean age of 41 years, 74% female) were recruited in teams (n=121) and randomly assigned (1:1:1) to the Active Team (n=141, 39 teams), self-monitoring app (n=160, 42 teams), or waitlist group (n=143, 40 teams). Data were collected in 2016–2017, and analysis was conducted in 2018–2019. Intervention: Active Team is a 100-day app-based, gamified, online social networking physical activity intervention. Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was change in objective physical activity from baseline to 3-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes included objective physical activity at 9 months and self-reported physical activity, quality of life, depression, anxiety and stress, well-being, and engagement. Results: Mixed models indicated no significant differences in objective physical activity between groups at 3 (F=0.17, p=0.84; Cohen's d=0.03, 95% CI= −0.21, 0.26) or 9 months (F=0.23, p=0.92; d=0.06, 95% CI= −0.17, 0.29) and no significant differences for secondary outcomes of quality of life, depression, anxiety and stress, or well-being. Self-reported moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was significantly higher in the Active Team group at the 9-month follow-up (F=3.05, p=0.02; d=0.50, 95% CI=0.26, 0.73). Engagement was high; the Active Team group logged steps on an average of 72 (SD=35) days and used the social and gamified features an average of 89 (SD=118) times. Conclusions: A gamified, online social networking physical activity intervention did not change objective moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, though it did increase self-reported moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and achieve high levels of engagement. Future work is needed to understand if gamification, online social networks, and app-based approaches can be leveraged to achieve positive behavior change. Trial registration: This study is registered at Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (protocol: ANZCTR12617000113358).
Source Title: American Journal of Preventive Medicine
ISSN: 07493797
DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2019.09.009
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