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Activity Monitors Boost Physical Activity Interventions

A runner checks his heart rate using a smartwatch.The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends physical activity promotion interventions that include activity monitors based on sufficient evidence of effectiveness in increasing physical activity in adults with overweight or obesity. More research is needed, however, to determine whether changes in physical activity are maintained over time.

Interventions provide participants with a combination of behavioral instruction in the form of counseling or education, and activity monitors that offer regular feedback (i.e. pedometers or accelerometers) and may include enhancements to support or promote physical activity. Interventions must focus on physical activity or promote physical activity within a weight management program and may include follow-up appointments.

A team of specialists in systematic review methods and in physical activity promotion research and practice selected and evaluated the following systematic review:

de Vries HJ, Kooiman TJM, van Ittersum MW, van Brussel M, de Groot M. Do activity monitors increase physical activity in adults with overweight or obesity? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity 2016;24(10):2076-91.

The CPSTF recommendation is based on results from the published review, additional information from the included studies, and expert input from team members and the CPSTF.

More than one-third of American adults have obesity (CDC, 2015 External Web Site Icon). Regular physical activity can help with weight control and lower risk for chronic diseases (CDC, 2015 External Web Site Icon). Today, only 1 in 5 adults get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week (CDC, 2014 External Web Site Icon).

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