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Computer-mediated social support for physical activity : a content analysis

Jeroen Stragier UGent, Peter Mechant UGent, Lieven De Marez UGent and Greet Cardon UGent (2018) HEALTH EDUCATION & BEHAVIOR. 45(1). p.124-131
abstract
Purpose. Online fitness communities are a recent phenomenon experiencing growing user bases. They can be considered as online social networks in which recording, monitoring, and sharing of physical activity (PA) are the most prevalent practices. They have added a new dimension to the social experience of PA in which online peers function as virtual PA partners or supporters. However, research into seeking and receiving computer-mediated social support for PA is scarce. Our aim was to study to what extent using online fitness communities and sharing physical activities with online social networks results in receiving various types of online social support. Method. Two databases, one containing physical activities logged with Strava and one containing physical activities logged with RunKeeper and shared on Twitter, were investigated for occurrence and type of social support, by means of a deductive content analysis. Results. Results indicate that social support delivered through Twitter is not particularly extensive. On Strava, social support is significantly more prevalent. Especially esteem support, expressed as compliments for the accomplishment of an activity, is provided on both Strava and Twitter. Conclusion. The results demonstrate that social media have potential as a platform used for providing social support for PA, but differences among various social network sites can be substantial. Especially esteem support can be expected, in contrast to online health communities, where information support is more common.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
computer-mediated communication, e-health, exercise behavior, m-health, online fitness community, physical activity, social media, SELF-EFFICACY, ONLINE, INTERVENTION, INDIVIDUALS, PREDICTORS, BEHAVIORS, FACEBOOK
journal title
HEALTH EDUCATION & BEHAVIOR
Health Educ. Behav.
volume
45
issue
1
pages
124 - 131
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000422659300014
ISSN
1090-1981
1552-6127
DOI
10.1177/1090198117703055
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
8519529
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8519529
date created
2017-05-04 09:03:01
date last changed
2018-03-21 10:16:23
@article{8519529,
  abstract     = {Purpose. Online fitness communities are a recent phenomenon experiencing growing user bases. They can be considered as online social networks in which recording, monitoring, and sharing of physical activity (PA) are the most prevalent practices. They have added a new dimension to the social experience of PA in which online peers function as virtual PA partners or supporters. However, research into seeking and receiving computer-mediated social support for PA is scarce. Our aim was to study to what extent using online fitness communities and sharing physical activities with online social networks results in receiving various types of online social support.
Method. Two databases, one containing physical activities logged with Strava and one containing physical activities logged with RunKeeper and shared on Twitter, were investigated for occurrence and type of social support, by means of a deductive content analysis.
Results. Results indicate that social support delivered through Twitter is not particularly extensive. On Strava, social support is significantly more prevalent. Especially esteem support, expressed as compliments for the accomplishment of an activity, is provided on both Strava and Twitter.
Conclusion. The results demonstrate that social media have potential as a platform used for providing social support for PA, but differences among various social network sites can be substantial. Especially esteem support can be expected, in contrast to online health communities, where information support is more common.},
  author       = {Stragier, Jeroen and Mechant, Peter and De Marez, Lieven and Cardon, Greet},
  issn         = {1090-1981},
  journal      = {HEALTH EDUCATION \& BEHAVIOR},
  keyword      = {computer-mediated communication,e-health,exercise behavior,m-health,online fitness community,physical activity,social media,SELF-EFFICACY,ONLINE,INTERVENTION,INDIVIDUALS,PREDICTORS,BEHAVIORS,FACEBOOK},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {124--131},
  title        = {Computer-mediated social support for physical activity : a content analysis},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1090198117703055},
  volume       = {45},
  year         = {2018},
}

Chicago
Stragier, Jeroen, Peter Mechant, Lieven De Marez, and Greet Cardon. 2018. “Computer-mediated Social Support for Physical Activity : a Content Analysis.” Health Education & Behavior 45 (1): 124–131.
APA
Stragier, J., Mechant, P., De Marez, L., & Cardon, G. (2018). Computer-mediated social support for physical activity : a content analysis. HEALTH EDUCATION & BEHAVIOR, 45(1), 124–131.
Vancouver
1.
Stragier J, Mechant P, De Marez L, Cardon G. Computer-mediated social support for physical activity : a content analysis. HEALTH EDUCATION & BEHAVIOR. 2018;45(1):124–31.
MLA
Stragier, Jeroen, Peter Mechant, Lieven De Marez, et al. “Computer-mediated Social Support for Physical Activity : a Content Analysis.” HEALTH EDUCATION & BEHAVIOR 45.1 (2018): 124–131. Print.