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PESC Pilot Project - Year 4

Liz Lyons, PhDLiz Lyons, PhD
Assistant Professor, Institute for Translational Science
Mentors: James Goodwin, MD Elena Volpi, MD, PhD

IMPACT: Inactivity Monitoring and Physical Activity Controlled Trial

Inadequate physical activity and extended bouts of sedentary time are prevalent in adults, increasing from middle age into older adulthood. Even small changes in behavior, such as standing or walking in place periodically to break up sedentary bouts, can have large effects on cardiometabolic risk factors. Pedometer-based walking interventions have demonstrated effectiveness in increasing physical activity in this population, but these interventions have not targeted sedentary behavior. Recent technological advances have produced activity monitors that are capable of intervening on both behaviors. These wrist-worn monitors provide feedback and motivation for walking as well as cues to action in the form of idle alerts. These idle alerts vibrate when the wearer has remained sedentary for an extended period of time.

Several preliminary studies have shown that older adults are willing to break up their sedentary time if prompted, but interventions thus far have relied upon TV commercials as a cue to action. Use of these monitors would allow idle alerts to occur throughout the day, not only during TV watching periods.

The purpose of the IMPACT study (Inactivity Monitoring and Physical Activity Controlled Trial) is to investigate the feasibility of using activity monitors to simultaneously target both physical activity and sedentary behavior. First, we will conduct a pre-pilot test (N = 10) over six weeks. This brief study will provide basic feasibility and acceptability information on the monitor, content for weekly sessions, and assessments. Results will be used to refine the intervention for use in a larger pilot study (N = 20, 12 weeks). This randomized controlled trial, comparing the refined intervention to a wait-list control group, will test feasibility, acceptability, and health, behavioral, and psychological outcomes. The primary outcome will be physical activity, operationalized as objectively-measured minutes of moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity over seven days.

We will also measure fitness, physical function, body composition, and psychosocial variables such as autonomous motivation. The results of this innovative project will provide a foundation for future intervention in sedentary behavior and potentially create a large public health impact.



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