262030 Assessing Adults' Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Using Ecological Momentary Assessment with Mobile Phones

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Genevieve Dunton, PhD , Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, USC, Los Angeles, CA
Yue Liao, MPH , Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Stephen Intille, PhD , Department of Health Science, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Donna Spruijt-Metz, PhD , Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, USC, Los Angeles, CA
Mary Ann Pentz, PhD , Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, USC, Los Angeles, CA
Introduction: Mobile phones are ubiquitous and easy to use, and thus have the capacity to collect real-time data from large numbers of people. Research tested the feasibility and validity of an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) self-report protocol using electronic surveys on mobile phones to assess adults' physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Methods: Adults (N = 59) (74% female, 32% Hispanic, 54% overweight/obese) participated in a 4-day EMA monitoring period (Sat. - Tues.) with 7 surveys randomly spaced throughout each day. EMA items assessed current activity (e.g., Watching TV/Movies, Reading/Computer, Physical Activity/Exercise). Participants simultaneously wore an accelerometer. EMA responses were time-matched to steps, activity counts, and minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) occurring immediately before and after each EMA prompt. Results: Steps, activity counts, and MVPA min. did not differ in the 30-min. interval before answered vs. unanswered EMA prompts (p's > .05)—indicating that activity level did not influence the likelihood of responding. When Physical Activity/Exercise was reported (n = 107); steps, activity counts, and MVPA min. did not differ in 15-min. interval before vs. after the EMA prompt (p's > .05)—suggesting that prompting did not disrupt physical activity. Steps, activity counts, and MVPA min. in the 30-min. interval before the EMA prompt were significantly higher for reports of Physical Activity/Exercise vs. sedentary behaviors (e.g., Reading/Computer, Watching TV/Movies) (p's <.01)—providing evidence for construct validity. Conclusions: Findings support the acceptability and validity of a 4-day EMA protocol using mobile phones to measure physical activity and sedentary behavior in adults.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. To discuss the advantages of collecting self-reported physical activity data in real time as compared with recall methods. 2. To evaluate the extent to which collecting self-reported activity levels in real time using mobile phones yields valid data.

Keywords: Technology, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Genevieve Dunton, Ph.D, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. She earned a doctorate in Health Psychology from the University of California, Irvine and a Master of Public Health from the University of Southern California. She has published 45 peer-reviewer journal articles on the etiology of health behaviors related to cancer risk in children and adults, with particular focus on physical activity and nutrition.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.