Using Technology to Increase Physical Activity in Health Profession Students

Citation data:

The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, Vol: 4, Issue: 1

Publication Year:
2016
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Repository URL:
https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/ojot/vol4/iss1/6
DOI:
10.15453/2168-6408.1145
Author(s):
Stark, Mary Ann; Elrod, Kelly; Haller, Sara; Mahon, Andrea
Publisher(s):
WMU Department of Occupational Therapy; Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Health and Human Services, Western Michigan University
Tags:
health promotion; health profession students; interprofessional; mobile devices; text messaging; physical activity; Medicine and Health Sciences; Occupational Therapy; Other Medicine and Health Sciences
article description
Health profession students may need help establishing and maintaining positive health behaviors when they are in college. This study explored the effectiveness of text messaging as an innovative method for promoting an increase in daily physical activity. A convenience sample (N = 134) was recruited from students at a college of Health and Human Services in Michigan. The participants were randomized into an intervention or control group (n = 67 each). The intervention group received daily affective text messages encouraging more physical activity by taking more steps. The control group received only messages reminding them to report their number of steps. All of the participants received a pedometer, completed a demographics and daily habits questionnaire, and completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). There was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups in their number of daily steps. However, the most inactive participants had a significant increase in steps during the study period. Health profession students’ lifestyle behaviors have consequences, as they become caregivers in our dynamic, demanding health-care system. For those with the greatest need for physical activity, encouraging such activity via text messaging may improve their ability to care for themselves and their clients.