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Tag: fitness

Willingness to pay for a telemedicine delivered healthy lifestyle programme

Rauch VK, Roderka M, Weintraub AB, Curtis K, Kotz DF, Rothstein RI, Batsis JA. Willingness to pay for a telemedicine-delivered healthy lifestyle programme. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 2022;28(7):517-523. doi:10.1177/1357633X20943337

This study explored how willing rural adults were to pay for a remote weight-management program. Researchers conducted a single arm pilot study with 27 adult patients recruited from a medical weight and wellness center. Participants received a 16-week intervention focused on healthy behavior changes, including mindfulness, movement, problem-solving, and nutrition. In the program, a health coach, registered dietician, and nurse exercise specialist delivered weekly 30-minute one-on-one telehealth visits with participants. Researchers collected willingness-to-pay in a two-item survey at baseline and week 16 that asked: 1) at what point they would trade in person visits for telehealth based on commute time to reach the medical center, and 2) whether they would be willing to engage in a telehealth visit with an upfront cost for services. Participants who commute 30-45 minutes reported the highest willingness to trade in-person visits with telemedicine out of all groups. There was a significant increase in participants who would be willing to pay $30 or less for telemedicine from baseline (58%) to 16-week follow-up (69%). There was no significant difference over time in participants’ willingness to pay for telemedicine based on commute times. In qualitative interviews with participants, a majority found the program helpful. Participants also reported the intervention helped reduce travel time and expenses and increased flexibility for families and work. Results demonstrated that in rural areas, a digital weight management program could be acceptable and cost-effective. Research with a larger sample size and longer duration is needed to more accurately gauge patients’ willingness-to-pay for remote program delivery.


Feedback on Instagram posts for a gestational weight gain intervention

Waring ME, Pagoto SL, Moore Simas TA, Heersping G, Rudin LR, Arcangel K. Feedback on Instagram posts for a gestational weight gain intervention [published correction appears in Transl Behav Med. 2022 Apr 22;:]. Transl Behav Med. 2022;12(4):568-575. doi:10.1093/tbm/ibac001

Researchers evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of a private Instagram group and lifestyle intervention posts focused on healthy gestational weight gain. A study was conducted with pregnant women with pre-pregnancy overweight or obesity who use Instagram regularly. Eleven participants each created a private Instagram account and followed the other participants’ accounts and a moderator. The moderator, a registered dietitian, uploaded posts twice a day for 2 weeks about physical activity, healthy eating, goal setting and progress reports during pregnancy. Participants were encouraged to check the group daily and engage by liking, replying to comments, and posting their own photos. After the 2-week intervention, participants completed an online survey on acceptability of the Instagram posts developed by the researchers and participated in virtual focus group interviews via Webex. User engagement data was collected from Instagram. The results indicated all participants followed the moderator’s account and engaged with all study posts. Most participants (82%) reported feeling comfortable sharing in the group and 73% would participate in a similar group in the future. A majority of participants found the posts visually attractive and indicated that the posts provided helpful information. However, participants preferred more personalized content and felt hesitant to post their own photos because they did not feel their photos were high-quality and positive enough. Overall, the study demonstrated that creating a private Instagram group for delivery of a dietary and fitness intervention is feasible. Findings can inform next steps in development and future research developing Instagram-delivered interventions for other health behaviors or conditions.


Telephone and Web-Based Delivery of Healthy Eating and Active Living Interventions for Parents of Children Aged 2 to 6 Years: Mixed Methods Process Evaluation of the Time for Healthy Habits Translation Trial

Hammersley M, Wyse R, Jones R, Okely A, Wolfenden L, Eckermann S, Xu J, Green A, Stacey F, Yoong S, Jackson J, Innes-Hughes C, Li V, Rissel C. Telephone and Web-Based Delivery of Healthy Eating and Active Living Interventions for Parents of Children Aged 2 to 6 Years: Mixed Methods Process Evaluation of the Time for Healthy Habits Translation Trial. J Med Internet Res 2022;24(5):e35771 DOI: 10.2196/35771

Researchers conducted a mixed methods process evaluation of a translational trial targeting the dietary habits and movement behaviors of children with 3 partially randomized arms. The Time for Healthy Habits study recruited 458 total parents of children aged 2 to 6 years. The three arms were a telephone intervention, a web-based app intervention, and an active control (written education materials). At baseline, participants were asked to indicate their preferred intervention delivery method (telephone, web, written) or if they preferred to be randomized to condition. Participants received the assigned intervention for 12 weeks. Intervention acceptability and process evaluation were assessed at 3 months post baseline using a questionnaire developed by the researchers and qualitative interviews. Data on intervention fidelity and study attrition were also collected. Thirty participants completed the qualitative interviews, and 144 (31.4%) participants completed the postintervention follow-up. Most participants preferred the web-based delivery method at baseline. Results demonstrated high acceptability of the web-based and telephone interventions. Participants reported the healthy eating content to be the most useful component of the web-based modules and telephone calls. A significantly higher proportion of participants completed the telephone intervention compared to the web-based intervention. However, study attrition was higher in the telephone intervention arm. Overall, the process evaluation showed high acceptability of all interventions, but significantly more participants preferred the web-based intervention and were retained in the study relative to the other arms. This study highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of remotely delivered interventions and can inform directions for policy makers and practitioners.


Group Lifestyle Intervention With Mobile Health for Young Adults With Serious Mental Illness: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Aschbrenner KA, Naslund JA, Gorin AA, Mueser KT, Browne J, Wolfe RS, Xie H, & Bartels SJ. (2022). Group Lifestyle Intervention With Mobile Health for Young Adults With Serious Mental Illness: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.), 73(2), 141–148.

A study tested the effectiveness of PeerFIT, a group lifestyle intervention enhanced with mobile health for young adults with serious mental illness who were overweight or obese. PeerFIT is a 12-month, manualized group lifestyle intervention that includes weight loss and physical activity goals and a curriculum delivered by lifestyle coaches. One hundred fifty participants receiving services in partner community mental health centers were randomly assigned to the PeerFIT intervention or an active control condition (one-on-one basic education coaching and activity tracking). Eligible participants were 18-35 years of age, with serious mental illness and a body mass index at least 25kg/m2. PeerFIT had a 6-month phase of twice-weekly group meetings, followed by a 6-month maintenance phase of weekly exercise sessions. The intervention also used a private Facebook group where participants can access information, post content that support healthy lifestyles, and receive text message reminders and encouragement from the coach. Data was collected on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk reduction, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and weight loss at 6- and 12-month follow-up. The results showed no significant differences between the PeerFIT and control groups in reduced CVD risk, CRF, or weight loss. Participants in both arms achieved clinically significant CVD risk reduction, weight loss, and CRF between baseline and follow-ups. Although PeerFIT was not superior to one-on-one coaching in achieving reduced CVD risk, mobile Health coaching may be a more scalable innovation than in-person group interventions for young adults in routine mental health care settings.


Feasibility and acceptability of a technology-based, rural weight management intervention in older adults with obesity

Batsis JA, Petersen CL, Clark MM, et al. (2021). Feasibility and acceptability of a technology-based, rural weight management intervention in older adults with obesity. BMC Geriatr 21, 44.

Researchers evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of technology-based health promotion program among 53 older adults (at least 65 years old) living in rural New England with body mass index of at least 30kg/m2 Participants were enrolled in a 26-week program that consisted of video-conference nutrition and exercise sessions and Fitbit device monitoring. A Samsung tablet and detailed instructions to connect to Wi-Fi was provided for each participant. A Fitbit with user instructions was also provided for each participant. A registered dietitian nutritionist delivered 18 individual 30-minute sessions centered on nutrition and 7 1-hour group sessions on caloric intake, vitamin D, and protein intake. Weekly food records and attendance were collected. A trained physical therapist also conducted 75-minute, twice-a-week video conference group sessions that focused on exercise. Exercise sessions included resistance, flexibility, and balance training. Participants were encouraged to complete 150 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic walking outside of the sessions. Feasibility, acceptability, and health outcomes were assessed at baseline, 2, 4, and 6 months. Participants reported a high overall satisfaction of the program and the Fitbit. The Fitbit was worn by participants for on average 81.7% of the intervention time. Completed participants observed a mean of 4.6kg loss of weight. The researchers found improvement in physical functioning test outcomes and subjective measures of late-life physical functioning. The researchers concluded that a technology-based obesity intervention is feasible and acceptable for older adults living in rural areas and can lead to weight loss and better physical functioning.


Designing ambient narrative-based interfaces to reflect and motivate physical activity

Murnane E, Jiang X, Kong A et al. (2020). Designing ambient narrative-based interfaces to reflect and motivate physical activity. ACM Digital Library. 2020 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), Honolulu, HI, April 25-30, 2020. 1-14. doi: 10.1145/3313831.3376478

Growing evidence suggests that the quantitative data representations (e.g. graphs, statistical reports) used in most fitness apps fail to motivate physical activity. WhoIsZuki, a novel smartphone app, uses data-driven narratives to encourage physical activity. Read More


Virtual Reality Exercise as a Coping Strategy for Health and Wellness Promotion in Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Gao, Z., Lee, J. E., McDonough, D. J., & Albers, C. (2020). Virtual Reality Exercise as a Coping Strategy for Health and Wellness Promotion in Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(6), 1986. MDPI AG. Retrieved from

Older adults are at higher risk for adverse health outcomes from COVID-19 including declines in motor ability and physical activity, increased obesity, and psychological distress. Virtual reality exercises are increasingly used in healthcare interventions. This study conducted a targeted literature review to summarize the evidence for the effectiveness of virtual reality exercise on physical and psychological well-being in older adults in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only studies with older adults are included. Findings show that virtual reality exercise can improve motor skills and muscle strength, as well as help to manage and prevent obesity through virtual reality integrated cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and physical activity exercises. Virtual reality interventions also show promise for improving visuospatial processing, memory, and other cognitive functioning. Among older adults, virtual reality exercises and CBT can improve anxiety and depression outcomes. Virtual reality interventions can be completed at home, which is advantageous during the COVID-19 pandemic when older adults may quarantine for safety reasons. Overall, findings show that virtual reality is a valuable tool for older adults and effective in promoting physical and mental health. However, many studies are limited by small sample sizes and short implementation periods, and future research is needed to further evaluate virtual reality as a treatment among older adults.


Prevalence and characterization of yoga mentions in the electronic health record

Penrod N, Lynch S, Thomas S, Seshadri N, Moore J. 2019. Prevalence and characterization of yoga mentions in the electronic health record. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 32(6): 790-800. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2019.06.190115

Researchers compared medical records of 30,976 adult patients of Penn Medicine hospital whose electronic health record (EHR)s included a mention of yoga by the patient or provider at a recent health visit with the records of a randomized control cohort (n = 92,919) in a study to characterize clinical documentation of yoga practice and identify medical conditions linked to clinician-recommended yoga intervention at Penn Medicine. Read More


Wearable Technology Started by Tracking Steps. Soon, It May Allow Your Boss to Track Your Performance

Article Excerpt: The rise of wearable devices such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit offer us the ability to turn our daily lives into an never-ending catalogue of interpretable data: how many steps we take, the number of calories we consume, our REM sleep cycles, and even the health of our hearts. Now a team of researchers at Dartmouth say those wearables can serve another purpose — determining whether you’re a productive employee.

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Article Source: The Washington Post.  Also posted in South Bend Tribune, The South China Morning Post, Messenger-Inquirer, and Gulf News.