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Design and Evaluation of a Just-in-Time Adaptive Intervention (JITAI) to Reduce Sedentary Behavior at Work: Experimental Study

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submitted on 2024-04-21, 11:09 and posted on 2024-04-21, 11:10 authored by Tasnim Ismail, Dena Al Thani

Background

Employees in sedentary occupations tend to spend prolonged hours physically inactive. Physical inactivity is a main factor in the increase in the risks of a wide range of chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. This has drawn researchers’ attention to investigate methods of increasing the level of activity of employees during working hours and in their daily lifestyle.

Objective

The objective of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of using personalized messages that include user information, user goals, daily routine, and the surrounding environment to increase the level of activity among employees. In this study, we hypothesize that sending context-aware motivational messages to workers in sedentary occupations after sitting for 40 minutes can break sedentary behavior and increase daily active time compared to static reminder messages.

Methods

A 66-day between-group study using a mixed methods design approach was conducted with employees who are located in Qatar and spend most of their working day sedentary. The 58 participants used 2 different interventions: The control group (n=29, 50%) used a mobile app that only sends a static message after prolonged sitting (MotiFit Lite), and the intervention group (n=29, 50%) used a mobile app that sends context-aware personalized messages to promote physical activity (PA; MotiFit). Both apps log the received messages, the step count before and after the messages are sent, and the user response to the messages to obtain an idea of the impact of the messages. The study received approval from the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute’s institutional review board (IRB application #2019-10-037).

Results

The questionnaires showed satisfaction of the designed apps’ subjective quality and perceived impact. The quantitative analysis showed a high level of engagement in the intervention group compared to the control group (P<.001). The results support the original hypothesis that using context-aware motivational messages can increase PA at work compared to static messages (P<.001). However, the analysis showed no significant impact of the message type on the overall activity level during the day (P=.06).

Conclusions

Context-aware motivational messages motivate employees to increase their PA in the workplace. However, future research will further develop the analysis to investigate the impact on increasing the overall activity level during the day.

Other Information

Published in: JMIR Formative Research
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
See article on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.2196/34309

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

JMIR Publications

Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Science and Engineering - HBKU

Methodology

A 66-day between-group study using a mixed methods design approach was conducted with employees who are located in Qatar and spend most of their working day sedentary. The 58 participants used 2 different interventions: The control group (n=29, 50%) used a mobile app that only sends a static message after prolonged sitting (MotiFit Lite), and the intervention group (n=29, 50%) used a mobile app that sends context-aware personalized messages to promote physical activity (PA; MotiFit). Both apps log the received messages, the step count before and after the messages are sent, and the user response to the messages to obtain an idea of the impact of the messages. The study received approval from the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute’s institutional review board (IRB application #2019-10-037).

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