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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Reviews Internet-based Physical Activity Interventions

In collaboration with former University of Alabama at Birmingham doctoral student Dr. Rodney Joseph (currently with Arizona State University), Dr. Dorothy W. Pekmezi, assistant professor in UAB’s department of health behavior — along with Dr. Nefertiti H. Durant, assistant professor in UAB’s department of pediatrics — recently provided a comprehensive review of Internet– and website–based physical activity interventions targeting adult populations.

Joseph & Pekmezi_UAB ASPPH

[Photo: Dr. Rodney Joseph and Dr. Dorothy W. Pekmezi]

Search procedures identified 72 unique Internet-based physical activity interventions published in peer-reviewed journals. Participants of the studies were predominantly White, middle-aged (with a mean age of 43.3), and female (65.9 percent). Intervention durations ranged from two weeks to 13 months (with a median of 12 weeks). Forty-six of the studies were randomized controlled trials, 21 were randomized trials without a control condition, two were non–randomized controlled trials, and three used a single-group design.

A total of 68 studies assessed outcomes immediately following the end of the intervention period, and 16 studies provided delayed post-intervention assessments. Forty-four of the 72 studies (61.1 percent) reported significant increases in physical activity.

The team concluded that future directions for Internet-based physical activity interventions include increasing representation of minority and male populations in Internet-based efforts, conducting delayed post-intervention follow-up assessments, and incorporating emerging technologies (i.e., cellular and Smartphones) into Internet-based physical activity efforts.

“Internet-Based Physical Activity Interventions” was published earlier this year in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

Journal article: