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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