Effectiveness of the fun for wellness web-based behavioral intervention to promote physical activity in adults with obesity (or overweight): randomized controlled trial

Nicholas D. Myers, Adam McMahon, Isaac Prilleltensky, Seungmin Lee, Samantha Dietz, Ora Prilleltensky, Karin A. Pfeiffer, André G. Bateman, Ahnalee M. Brincks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Insufficient physical activity in the adult population is a global pandemic. Fun for Wellness (FFW) is a self-efficacy theory- and Web-based behavioral intervention developed to promote growth in well-being and physical activity by providing capability-enhancing opportunities to participants. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of FFW to increase physical activity in adults with obesity in the United States in a relatively uncontrolled setting. Methods: This was a large-scale, prospective, double-blind, parallel-group randomized controlled trial. Participants were recruited through an online panel recruitment company. Adults with overweight were also eligible to participate, consistent with many physical activity–promoting interventions for adults with obesity. Also consistent with much of the relevant literature the intended population as simply adults with obesity. Eligible participants were randomly assigned to the intervention (ie, FFW) or the usual care (ie, UC) group via software code that was written to accomplish equal allocations to the FFW and UC groups. Data collection was Web based, fully automated, and occurred at three time points: baseline, 30 days after baseline (T2), and 60 days after baseline (T3). Participants (N=461) who were assigned to the FFW group (nFFW=219) were provided with 30 days of 24-hour access to the Web-based intervention. A path model was fit to the data consistent with the FFW conceptual model for the promotion of physical activity. Results: There was evidence for a positive direct effect of FFW on transport-related physical activity self-efficacy (beta=.22, P=.02; d=0.23), domestic-related physical activity self-efficacy (beta=.22, P=.03; d=0.22), and self-efficacy to regulate physical activity (beta=.16, P=.01; d=0.25) at T2. Furthermore, there was evidence for a positive indirect effect of FFW on physical activity at T3 through self-efficacy to regulate physical activity at T2 (beta=.42, 95% CI 0.06 to 1.14). Finally, there was evidence for a null direct effect of FFW on physical activity (beta=1.04, P=.47; d=0.07) at T3. Conclusions: This study provides some initial evidence for both the effectiveness (eg, a positive indirect effect of FFW on physical activity through self-efficacy to regulate physical activity) and the ineffectiveness (eg, a null direct effect of FFW on physical activity) of the FFW Web-based behavioral intervention to increase physical activity in adults with obesity in the United States. More broadly, FFW is a scalable Web-based behavioral intervention that may effectively, although indirectly, promote physical activity in adults with obesity and therefore may be useful in responding to the global pandemic of insufficient physical activity in this at-risk population. Self-efficacy to regulate physical activity appears to be a mechanism by which FFW may indirectly promote physical activity in adults with obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15919
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • EHealth
  • MHealth
  • Mediation
  • Physical activity self-efficacy level
  • Self-efficacy theory
  • Self-regulatory efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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