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International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications
Volume 2014, Article ID 746232, 9 pages
Research Article

Increasing Physical Activity Efficiently: An Experimental Pilot Study of a Website and Mobile Phone Intervention

1Tromsø Telemedicine Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway
2Department of Psychology, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway
3Brand Management, Telenor ASA, Snarøyveien 30, 1331 Fornebu, Norway

Received 23 January 2014; Accepted 2 May 2014; Published 22 May 2014

Academic Editor: Manolis Tsiknakis

Copyright © 2014 Kjærsti Thorsteinsen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The main objective of this pilot study was to test the effectiveness of an online, interactive physical activity intervention that also incorporated gaming components. The intervention design included an activity planner, progress monitoring, and gamification components and used SMS text as a secondary delivery channel and feedback to improve engagement in the intervention content. Healthy adults (n=21) recruited through ads in local newspapers (age 35–73) were randomized to the intervention or the control condition. Both groups reported physical activity using daily report forms in four registration weeks during the three-month study: only the experiment condition received access to the intervention. Analyses showed that the intervention group had significantly more minutes of physical activity in weeks five and nine. We also found a difference in the intensity of exercise in week five. Although the intervention group reported more minutes of physical activity at higher intensity levels, we were not able to find a significant effect at the end of the study period. In conclusion, this study adds to the research on the effectiveness of using the Internet and SMS text messages for delivering physical activity interventions and supports gamification as a viable intervention tool.