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Activity monitors: do they motivate MSers to exercise? Yes, research says

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  • Activity monitors: do they motivate MSers to exercise? Yes, research says

    Activity monitor use among persons with multiple sclerosis: Report on rate, pattern, and association with physical activity levels

    Stephanie L Silveira, Robert W Motl
    First Published November 9, 2019
    https://doi.org/10.1177/2055217319887986

    Abstract

    Background
    Commercially available activity monitors are a promising approach for tracking and changing physical activity in multiple sclerosis.

    Objective
    This study reports on the rate and pattern of activity monitor use in persons with multiple sclerosis, and compares self-reported physical activity levels between persons who do wear and those who do not wear activity monitors.

    Methods
    Participants completed a cross-sectional survey that included a demographic and clinical characteristics scale, activity monitor use questionnaire, and Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (GLTEQ) for measuring total and health-promoting physical activity.

    Results
    Of the 629 participants who completed the full survey, 249 (40%) reported using an activity monitor. The most common activity monitors were Fitbit, Apple watch, iPhone, and Garmin. There was a significant (p < 0.05), moderate difference (d = 0.5) in GLTEQ total scores between activity monitor users (36.6  23.9) and non-users (25.0  22.2), and in GLTEQ Health Contribution Score between activity monitor users (25.6  22.3) and non-users (14.6  18.9) (p < 0.05, d = 0.5). Self-reported steps from the activity monitor were significantly correlated with GLTEQ total score (ρ = 0.45; r = 0.36) and GLTEQ Health Contribution Score (ρ = 0.41; r = 0.35).

    Conclusion
    Activity monitor use is common among persons with multiple sclerosis, and activity monitor users report more total and health-promoting physical activity; this warrants further research investigating how devices may be used as a behavioral intervention tool.
    Dave Bexfield
    ActiveMSers
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