1. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, prescribed goal and human counseling increased physical activity (PA) more than self-monitoring.
2. Furthermore, remote phone/video counselling was found to be highly effective at increasing physical activity interventions.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Self-monitoring of physical exercise through pedometers, fitness trackers and smartphone apps have become a cornerstone in improving PA adherence. Currently, the effect of adding supplemental interventions to self-monitoring, to further enhance PA adherence, has not been well studied. As a result, the objective of the present systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine whether PA interventions that combine self-monitoring using activity monitors with other intervention components provides an additional benefit compared to self-monitoring alone.
Of 2251 identified records, 85 (n=12 057 participants) were included from 2007 to 2022. Studies were included if they compared an intervention using self-monitoring with an activity monitor to increase PA, to an intervention that comprised of the same treatment as the active control plus any additional component intended to increase PA. Studies were excluded if the active control arm received anything that was not also contained in the intervention arm. Effect measures were mean difference in daily step count between intervention and control arms. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Statistical analyses were performed using random-effects models.
Overall, results demonstrated that combining interventional components with self-monitoring led to an additional benefit of approximately 1000 steps a day, compared to self-monitoring alone, post-intervention. Furthermore, prescribed goal and human counseling increased physical activity (PA) more than self-monitoring. Specifically, remote phone/video counselling was found to be highly effective at increasing physical activity interventions. Despite these findings, the study was limited by the inclusion of several low-quality studies (39 of 75 overall studies identified to be low risk of bias). Nonetheless, the results suggest that combining self-monitoring with other components may provide additional benefits to PA with particular emphasis towards counselling such as remote phone/video counselling.
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