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An Adaptive Physical Activity Intervention for Inactive Adolescents: A Single Case Design

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An increasingly sedentary population in the United States, specifically with adolescents, is putting youth at risk of future health related trauma and disease. This single-case design study, Walking Intervention Through

An increasingly sedentary population in the United States, specifically with adolescents, is putting youth at risk of future health related trauma and disease. This single-case design study, Walking Intervention Through Text Messaging for Adolescents (WalkIT-A), was used to intervene with a 12-year old, physically inactive male, in an attempt to test the efficacy of a 12-week physical activity program that may help reduce health risks by increasing number of steps walked per day. The components of the intervention consisted of a FitBit Zip pedometer, physical activity education, text messages, monetary incentives, and goal setting that adapted personally to the participant. Mean step count increased by 30% from baseline (mean = 3603 [sd = 1983]) to intervention (mean = 4693 [sd = 2112]); then increased slightly by 6.7% from intervention to withdrawal (mean = 5009 [sd = 2152]). Mean "very active minutes" increased by 45% from baseline (mean = 8.8 [sd = 8.9]) to intervention (mean = 12.8 [sd = 9.6]); then increased by 61.7% from intervention to withdrawal (mean = 20.7 [sd = 8.4]). Weight, BMI, and blood pressure all increased modestly from pre to post. Cardiovascular fitness (estimated VO2 max) improved by 12.5% from pre (25.5ml*kg-1*min-1) to post (28.7ml*kg-1*min-1). The intervention appeared to have a delayed and residual effect on the participant's daily steps and very active minutes. Although the idealistic ABA pattern did not occur, and the participant did not meet the target of 11,500 daily steps, a positive trend toward that target behavior in the latter 1/3rd of the intervention was observed. Results suggest the need for an extended intervention over a longer period of time and customized even further to the participant.

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  • 2014-12