Using Wearable Technology to Increase Daily Activity: A Weight and Wellness Program Initiative
Purpose: To assess study participants behavioral responses and perception of effectiveness of an activity tracking device to increase physical activity. Obesity is an endemic health issue in the U.S. and continues to gain concern for increasing morbidity and mortality rates. Benefits of physical activity are firmly established across healthcare disciplines to combat and prevent obesity, yet sedentary behaviors continue to be on the rise. The use of wearable technology, that provides real-time feedback of activity, has been identified as a promising tool for increasing physical activity.
Methods: Analysis of a subset of questions from a larger survey was used to evaluate wearable device attitudes and behavior changes over time. Convenience sample (n=10), ages >18, required enrollment in a clinic-based weight and wellness program (WWP) to participate. The survey questions assessed effectiveness of wearable device on a 0-10 motivation scale to increase physical activity and a self- assessment of behavioral changes at specific intervals over a 6-month period. Descriptive statistics and non-parametric, two-tailed tests will be used to analyze the data. Due to the necessity of detecting minute differences with the small sample size, the significance level will be tested at the p<0.10.
Results: Participants >18 years of age, enrolled in a WWP (n=10) included 20% male and 80% female. Although a 12.3% increase in the mean score was found from week-1 to 6-months, the results were not statistically conclusive to the effectiveness of self-motivation to increase activity by participants wearing an activity tracking device; however, results are statistically significant for participants to increase activity with behavior changes based on device dashboard.
Conclusions: It is recommended for primary care providers to encourage the use of an activity tracking wearable device for behavior change to increase activity.