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Table 1 Characteristics of included studies

From: The Effect of Physical Activity Interventions Comprising Wearables and Smartphone Applications on Physical Activity: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Study Population N (randomized)/mean age (years)/sex (% female) Intervention Behaviour change techniques Duration of intervention Control
Li et al. [43] Patients with knee osteoarthritis, > 50 years of age 34/55.5/82 Individualized PA goals
Group education session and weekly telephone counselling by a physiotherapist
Fitbit Flex activity tracker synchronized with an online dashboard
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
1 month Waiting list (same intervention with 1-month delay)
Lyons et al. [44] Overweight, inactive adults, aged 55–79 years 40/61.5/85 Daily and weekly step goals
Instruction visit and weekly telephone counselling
Jawbone Up24 and jawbone UP app
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
12 weeks Waiting list (full intervention after final assessment)
Bickmore et al. [36] Community-dwelling inactive adults, ≥ 65 years of age 263/71.3/61 Individualized short- and long-term PA goals
Wearing pedometer
ECA (computer-animated virtual exercise coach) on a tablet for 2 months
ECA access in clinic waiting room for the following 10 months
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
12 months (2 months intervention phase + 10 months maintenance phase) Wearing pedometer
Allen et al. [35] Overweight adults, aged 21–65 years 34/44.9/78 PA goal of ≥ 150 min/week of MVPA
Intensive counselling
Lose it! weight loss application
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
6 months Intensive counselling
Demeyer et al. [37] COPD patients, > 40 years of age, smoking history ≥ 10 pack-years, stable or having an exacerbation in the last month 343/67/36 Individualized daily PA (step) goals
Introduction visit, brochure and booklet containing home exercises
Weekly group text message
Fitbug Air step counter with Fitbug application and a project-tailored Proactive Linkcare coaching application
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
12 weeks Usual care (standard leaflet explaining the importance of PA, information about PA recommendations)
Shin et al. [49] Overweight Korean male university students, aged 19–45 years 70/27.8/0 Individualized PA goal to lose weight
Brief education sessions on diet and exercise and education materials
Fitmeter accelerometer and accompanying smartphone application (customized for the intervention)
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
12 weeks Brief education sessions on diet and exercise and education materials
Recio-Rodriguez et al. [47] Adults, ≤ 70 years of age, from Spanish primary care centres 833/51.9/62 Standardized counselling in PA and the Mediterranean diet
EVIDENT II mobile phone app (designed for this study)
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
3 months Standardized counselling
Uhm et al. [50] Patients, aged 20–70 years, who completed primary breast cancer treatment 356/50.3/100 PA goal of ≥ 150 min/week of MVPA
Home-based exercise programme
Smart After Care exercise application and pedometer
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Feedback on performance
12 weeks PA goal of ≥ 150 min/week of MVPA
Home-based exercise programme
Exercise brochure
Glynn et al. [39] Primary care patients 90/44.1/64 PA goal of 10,000 steps/day
Accupedo Pro Pedometer App
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
8 weeks PA goal of 30 min walking/day
Fukuoka et al. [38] Overweight, inactive adults, ≥ 35 years of age, at risk for diabetes 61/55.2/77 Long-term PA goal of 12,000 steps/day
In-person sessions
Pedometer and Mobile phone-based Diabetes Prevention Program (mDPP) mobile app
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
5 months Wore pedometer, displaying step count
Safran Naimark et al. [48] Healthy adults interested in a healthy lifestyle 99/47.9/64 Presentation on healthy lifestyle
eBalance application to promote a healthy lifestyle
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Feedback on performance
14 weeks Presentation on a healthy lifestyle
Martin et al. [45] Adults visiting a cardiovascular disease prevention centre 32/58.0/46 PA goal of 10,000 steps/day
First phase of unblinded digital activity tracking with Fitbug app
Second phase with three automated, personalized, smartphone-delivered coaching messages per day
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
4 weeks (2 weeks phase 1 and 2 weeks phase 2) Blinded digital activity tracking
Walsh et al. [52] Young adults, aged 17–26 years, using a mobile phone 58/20.5/73 PA goal of 10,000 steps/day
Information regarding the benefits of exercise
Accupedo-Pro Pedometer App and accompanying pedometer
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
5 weeks Education regarding PA goal of 30 min walking/day and benefits
Hartman et al. [41] Middle-aged and older overweight women with elevated breast cancer risk 55/59.5/100 Weight loss intervention with MyFitnessPal and Fitbit app
PA goal of ≥ 150 min/week of MVPA
Twelve standardized coaching calls
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
6 months Usual care (dietary guidelines)
Two brief calls
Harries et al. [40] Healthy males, aged 22–40 years 110/NA/0 Smartphone app recording steps and providing feedback
Motivational text messages
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Feedback on performance
6 weeks (plus 2 weeks run-in) Carries smartphone to record steps with a built-in accelerometer
Vorrink et al. [51] Patients with COPD, GOLD stage 2 or 3, ≥ 40 years of age 183/63.0/50 Individualized PA goal
Smartphone application and built-in accelerometer
Website for physiotherapist to monitor patient and provide feedback
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
12 months Usual care
King et al. [42] Underactive adults, ≥ 45 years of age, with no prior smartphone experience 49/60.0/75 Daily PA goal of 30 min/day of MVPA
Smartphone app recording steps and providing feedback
Self-monitoring
Intention formation
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
8 weeks Non-physical, diet-tracking control app (Calorific)
Paul et al. [46] Stroke survivors 24/56.0/52 Individualized PA step goals, increased during the intervention period
STARFISH smartphone app
Extra research centre visit
Self-monitoring
Specific goal setting
Feedback on performance
Review of behaviour goals
6 weeks Usual care (wore ActivPAL before start intervention and during last week)
  1. COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ECA computer-animated virtual exercise coach, GOLD Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, MVPA moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, PA physical activity