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Health Educ Behav. 2013 Apr;40(2):160-70. doi: 10.1177/1090198112461791. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

Can a website-delivered computer-tailored physical activity intervention be acceptable, usable, and effective for older people?

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Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.


Despite the numerous health benefits, population physical activity levels are low and declining with age. A continued increase of Internet access allows for website-delivered interventions to be implemented across age-groups, though older people have typically not been considered for this type of intervention. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate a website-delivered computer-tailored physical activity intervention, with a specific focus on differences in tailored advice acceptability, website usability, and physical activity change between three age-groups. To mimic "real-life" conditions, the intervention, which provided personalized physical activity feedback delivered via the Internet, was implemented and evaluated without any personal contact for the entire duration of the study. Data were collected online at baseline, 1-week, and 1-month follow-up and analyzed for three age-groups (≤44, 45-59, and ≥60 years) using linear mixed models. Overall, 803 adults received the intervention and 288 completed all measures. The oldest age-group increased physical activity more than the other two groups, spent the most time on the website, though had significantly lower perceived Internet self-confidence scores when compared with the youngest age-group. No differences were found in terms of website usability and tailored advice acceptability. These results suggest that website-delivered physical activity interventions can be suitable and effective for older aged adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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