-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Using personal digital
assistants (PDAs) to give daily feedback to adults about their
fitness progress helps them stick with an exercise program, a new
University of Pittsburgh researchers followed 189 overweight
adults for six months. The participants were assigned to one of
three self-monitoring programs -- paper records only, PDA without
daily feedback messages, or PDA with daily feedback messages.
An example of a message for participants who met their exercise
goals for the day: "Super job on the physical activity. Try to
repeat this tomorrow."
For those who didn't achieve their daily goal, the message might
have said: "Don't get disheartened; you still have time to meet
your physical activity goals. Hint: Take a walk; it will pay
Adults who received the PDA messages were most likely to stick
with their exercise program, and adherence was associated with high
physical activity levels and weight loss.
The study was published this month in the journal
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
"Offering real-time feedback not only allows a person to make adjustments to the exercise program as needed but also holds people accountable to staying on track," lead author Dr. Molly Conroy said in a journal news release. "The feedback message tells the participant that 'someone' is paying attention, and this could provide powerful, positive reinforcement for exercising and achieving his or her goals."
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
weight loss for life.
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