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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Research Projects

PACERS: The use of accelorometry-based activity monitors and linked web portal to enhance long-term maintenance of physical activity in adults

A research project of the Department of Sociology.

Background

Low levels of physical activity are associated with an increased risk of chronic disease outcomes. The majority of adults in Wales do not currently achieve public health recommendations for physical activity. Interventions to increase individuals’ physical activity levels, such as exercise referral schemes, have had mixed successes to date, and have often only demonstrated effects in the short term. In Wales, a trial of the National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) demonstrated small but significant impacts on physical activity at 12 month follow-up, though effects were limited to patients referred with coronary heart disease risk factors.

Aims

This study seeks to assess the feasibility of adding a new motivational component to an existing effective intervention in order to enhance the effects of NERS, and support longer-term maintenance of physical activity. The new component involves a combination of a physical activity monitor (MyWellnessKey) and an associated web-based support system (MyWellnessCloud). 

This study will enhance our understanding of how to integrate such technologies into existing exercise programmes, and will provide an assessment of feasibility and acceptability to inform whether and how to proceed to a full effectiveness trial. 

Keywords

Physical Activity; Exercise Referral; Motivation; Technology

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