Research: Program utilizing wearables, teaching and money incentives elevated bodily exercise in teenagers

A digital well being program utilizing a Fitbit wearable and text-based well being teaching improved bodily exercise in teenagers, according to a study published in JMIR


Researchers discovered that adolescents enrolled in this system met their exercise targets for a median of seven out of 11 doable weeks. The teenagers additionally wore their Fitbits for about 91% of days on common, and the examine discovered there have been “important enhancements” in tracked every day energetic minutes.

Individuals had been additionally requested to charge the totally different elements of this system, like the standard of the text-based teaching and the Fitbit expertise, rated on a seven-point scale. All of those metrics had been rated no less than a 5. 

Although the examine discovered members demonstrated a statistically important lower in physique fats share, the change in BMI percentile for age and intercourse was nonsignificant.


The examine included 28 members between the ages of 13 and 18 with a BMI within the ninetieth percentile or greater. Two members had been misplaced in follow-up, so solely 26 had been included within the remaining evaluation. 

The teenagers had a every day purpose of an hour of energetic minutes or 10,000 steps in the course of the 12-week program. Additionally they set weekly private targets primarily based on their earlier accomplishments and will obtain money incentives if that purpose was met. 

The members additionally obtained text-based teaching primarily based on their achievements on weekdays. 


Wearables are an increasingly big business, and a number of other tech giants tout their very own variations. Fitbit was officially acquired by Google at the start of 2021. 

Other studies have used wearable devices as a part of digital well being packages to push elevated exercise in numerous populations with some success. Nonetheless, a study published late last year discovered digital interventions like wearables and apps that goal to enhance bodily exercise is probably not efficient for folks in low socioeconomic standing teams.


Researchers famous a number of potential weaknesses with the examine. It did not embrace a management group, and the pattern measurement was small. Individuals had been largely white and most had been utilizing personal insurance coverage, so the outcomes is probably not generalizable to a extra numerous group. There additionally might be measurement errors from the Fitbits, and researchers did not assess the potential results on puberty on the examine’s members.  

The authors mentioned follow-up analysis ought to consider every of this system’s elements individually with a bigger pattern measurement and a extra numerous inhabitants for an extended time. 

“The pilot program improved adolescent bodily exercise and bodily well being,” they wrote. “A bigger factorial design trial with adaptive every day targets might make clear the function of every program element in driving bodily exercise.”


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