Citation: Hamel,L.M., Robbins,L.B., & Wilbur,J. (2011). Computer- and web-based interventions to increase preadolescent and adolescent physical activity: A systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(2), 251-268.
AIM: This review examined evidence regarding computer- or web-based interventions to increase preadolescent and adolescent physical activity.
BACKGROUND: Todays youth are less active and more overweight than their counterparts from 25-years ago. Overweight youth tend to become overweight adults with weight-related maladies, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Interventions to increase physical activity that reach a large audience are needed. Computer- and web-based physical activity interventions are an appealing means to influence physical activity in preadolescents and adolescents. However, their effectiveness must be determined.
DATA SOURCES: The following electronic databases were searched for studies published from 1998 through 2010: CINAHL, PubMed, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, SportDISCUS and Proquest.
REVIEW METHODS: A systemic review was conducted. Fourteen randomized control trials or quasi-experimental studies were reviewed to: (1) determine the effect of computer- or web-based interventions on increasing physical activity and/or improving body mass index, weight, percent body fat or waist circumference as a result of increasing physical activity; and (2) examine if additional components associated with these interventions increased success.
RESULTS: Although most interventions demonstrated statistically significant increases in physical activity or positive health changes related to physical activity, findings were small or short-lived. The value of conducting the interventions at school, using a theory or model as a framework, and supplementing with individual tailoring and parental involvement, is discussed.
CONCLUSION: Computer- and web-based interventions can promote physical activity among preadolescents and adolescents, particularly in schools. However, further efforts are needed to sustain positive changes.
Keywords: Adolescents (13-19 years), Behaviour Modification (e.g., provision of item/tool, incentives, goal setting), Education / Awareness & Skill Development / Training, Grade school aged (5-12 years), Internet, Physical Activity, Youth Health