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'Active Team' a social and gamified app-based physical activity intervention : randomised controlled trial study protocol

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Abstract
Background: Physical inactivity is a leading preventable cause of chronic disease and premature death globally, yet over half of the adult Australian population is inactive. To address this, web-based physical activity interventions, which have the potential to reach large numbers of users at low costs, have received considerable attention. To fully realise the potential of such interventions, there is a need to further increase their appeal to boost engagement and retention, and sustain intervention effects over longer periods of time. This randomised controlled trial aims to evaluate the efficacy of a gamified physical activity intervention that connects users to each other via Facebook and is delivered via a mobile app. Methods: The study is a three-group, cluster-RCT. Four hundred and forty (440) inactive Australian adults who use Facebook at least weekly will be recruited in clusters of three to eight existing Facebook friends. Participant clusters will be randomly allocated to one of three conditions: (1) waitlist control condition, (2) basic experimental condition (pedometer plus basic app with no social and gamification features), or (3) socially-enhanced experimental condition (pedometer plus app with social and gamification features). Participants will undertake assessments at baseline, three and nine months. The primary outcome is change in total daily minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at three months measured objectively using GENEActive accelerometers [Activeinsights Ltd., UK]. Secondary outcomes include self-reported physical activity, depression and anxiety, wellbeing, quality of life, social-cognitive theory constructs and app usage and engagement. Discussion: The current study will incorporate novel social and gamification elements in order to examine whether the inclusion of these components increases the efficacy of app-based physical activity interventions. The findings will be used to guide the development and increase the effectiveness of future health behaviour interventions.
Keywords
physical activity & health, Behaviour change, Facebook, Gamification, Intervention, Mobile, Physical activity, Social media, Social network, eHealth, mHealth, BEHAVIOR-CHANGE, HEALTH BEHAVIOR, FACEBOOK, NETWORK, MEDIA, GAMIFICATION, RELIABILITY, PROGRAM, SUPPORT, SCALES

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Edney, Sarah, Ronald Plotnikoff, Corneel Vandelanotte, et al. “‘Active Team’ a Social and Gamified App-based Physical Activity Intervention : Randomised Controlled Trial Study Protocol.” BMC PUBLIC HEALTH 17 (2017): n. pag. Print.
APA
Edney, S., Plotnikoff, R., Vandelanotte, C., Olds, T., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Ryan, J., & Maher, C. (2017). “Active Team” a social and gamified app-based physical activity intervention : randomised controlled trial study protocol. BMC PUBLIC HEALTH, 17.
Chicago author-date
Edney, Sarah, Ronald Plotnikoff, Corneel Vandelanotte, Tim Olds, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Jillian Ryan, and Carol Maher. 2017. “‘Active Team’ a Social and Gamified App-based Physical Activity Intervention : Randomised Controlled Trial Study Protocol.” Bmc Public Health 17.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Edney, Sarah, Ronald Plotnikoff, Corneel Vandelanotte, Tim Olds, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Jillian Ryan, and Carol Maher. 2017. “‘Active Team’ a Social and Gamified App-based Physical Activity Intervention : Randomised Controlled Trial Study Protocol.” Bmc Public Health 17.
Vancouver
1.
Edney S, Plotnikoff R, Vandelanotte C, Olds T, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Ryan J, et al. “Active Team” a social and gamified app-based physical activity intervention : randomised controlled trial study protocol. BMC PUBLIC HEALTH. 2017;17.
IEEE
[1]
S. Edney et al., “‘Active Team’ a social and gamified app-based physical activity intervention : randomised controlled trial study protocol,” BMC PUBLIC HEALTH, vol. 17, 2017.
@article{8552617,
  abstract     = {Background: Physical inactivity is a leading preventable cause of chronic disease and premature death globally, yet over half of the adult Australian population is inactive. To address this, web-based physical activity interventions, which have the potential to reach large numbers of users at low costs, have received considerable attention. To fully realise the potential of such interventions, there is a need to further increase their appeal to boost engagement and retention, and sustain intervention effects over longer periods of time. This randomised controlled trial aims to evaluate the efficacy of a gamified physical activity intervention that connects users to each other via Facebook and is delivered via a mobile app. 
Methods: The study is a three-group, cluster-RCT. Four hundred and forty (440) inactive Australian adults who use Facebook at least weekly will be recruited in clusters of three to eight existing Facebook friends. Participant clusters will be randomly allocated to one of three conditions: (1) waitlist control condition, (2) basic experimental condition (pedometer plus basic app with no social and gamification features), or (3) socially-enhanced experimental condition (pedometer plus app with social and gamification features). Participants will undertake assessments at baseline, three and nine months. The primary outcome is change in total daily minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at three months measured objectively using GENEActive accelerometers [Activeinsights Ltd., UK]. Secondary outcomes include self-reported physical activity, depression and anxiety, wellbeing, quality of life, social-cognitive theory constructs and app usage and engagement. 
Discussion: The current study will incorporate novel social and gamification elements in order to examine whether the inclusion of these components increases the efficacy of app-based physical activity interventions. The findings will be used to guide the development and increase the effectiveness of future health behaviour interventions.},
  articleno    = {859},
  author       = {Edney, Sarah and Plotnikoff, Ronald and Vandelanotte, Corneel and Olds, Tim and De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse and Ryan, Jillian and Maher, Carol},
  issn         = {1471-2458},
  journal      = {BMC PUBLIC HEALTH},
  keywords     = {physical activity & health,Behaviour change,Facebook,Gamification,Intervention,Mobile,Physical activity,Social media,Social network,eHealth,mHealth,BEHAVIOR-CHANGE,HEALTH BEHAVIOR,FACEBOOK,NETWORK,MEDIA,GAMIFICATION,RELIABILITY,PROGRAM,SUPPORT,SCALES},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {10},
  title        = {'Active Team' a social and gamified app-based physical activity intervention : randomised controlled trial study protocol},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4882-7},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2017},
}

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