Smart Walk: A Smartphone Physical Activity Program for African American Women

Project: Research project

Description

National data show that 82% of African American (AA) women are overweight or obese, and 57% are obese. The health risks associated with the high prevalence of overweight and obesity among AA women is concerning, as these risks contribute to subsequent chronicities including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Physical activity (PA) is an established mechanism to manage weight and to improve myriad cardiometabolic disease risk factors. However, despite these benefits, only 36% of AA women meet the national PA guidelines for moderate-to-vigorous PA. The low PA levels among AA women coupled with the high prevalence of overweight/obesity and other chronic disease conditions indicate the need for effective strategies to promote PA in this high-risk population.

Technology-based platforms (i.e. Smartphone applications, Internet, social media) represent potential channels to deliver PA interventions to AA women. However, few researchers have explored these platforms to deliver culturally relevant PA interventions to AA women. This represents a missed opportunity given the established success of technology-delivered behavior change interventions and data suggesting that AA women use Internet, social media, and Smartphones at equal or greater rates than other race/ethnic groups.

In the K99 phase of the project, the applicant gained explicit training in the physiological and biochemical mechanisms underpinning cardiometabolic disease risk factors responsive to PA intervention. This training complemented his already strong social science background and allowed him to gain a deeper understanding of the physiological mechanisms associated with the health-enhancing benefits of PA. In the R00 phase, we will implement an 8-month randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effects of a culturally relevant Smartphone-delivered PA intervention to improve (baseline to 4 months) and maintain (5 months to 8 months) high PA levels and reduce cardiometabolic disease risk among obese AA women. Sixty obese AA women will receive either a culturally relevant, Social Cognitive Theory-based PA promotion program delivered using a Smartphone application or a wellness contact control condition. Feasibility and acceptability of the Smartphone-delivered PA program will evaluated, along with PA, fitness, and cardiometabolic disease risk factors. Potential physiological mechanisms through which PA may impact cardiometabolic disease risk factors will also be explored.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date7/15/176/30/20

Funding

  • HHS: National Institutes of Health (NIH): $726,665.00

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African Americans
Exercise
Social Media
Smartphone
Internet
Obesity
Technology
Physical Fitness
Social Sciences
Insurance Benefits
Ethnic Groups
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Chronic Disease
Cardiovascular Diseases
Randomized Controlled Trials
Research Personnel