Effectiveness of an online computer-tailored physical activity intervention in a real-life setting

Health Educ Res. 2007 Jun;22(3):385-96. doi: 10.1093/her/cyl096. Epub 2006 Sep 13.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-tailored physical activity intervention delivered through the Internet in a real-life setting. Healthy adults (n=526), recruited in six worksites, between 25 and 55 years of age were randomized to one of three conditions receiving, respectively, (i) online-tailored physical activity advice + stage-based reinforcement e-mails, (ii) online-tailored physical activity advice only, (iii) online non-tailored standard physical activity advice. At 6-month follow-up, no differences in physical activity between study conditions were found; total physical activity, physical activity at moderate intensity and physical activity in leisure time significantly increased in all study conditions between baseline and follow-up. Further evaluation of the intervention materials showed that the tailored advice was more read, printed and discussed with others than the standard advice. Most of the respondents in the e-mail group indicated to be satisfied about the number, frequency and usefulness of the stage-based e-mails. In conclusion, although tailored advice was appreciated more than standard advice, no evidence was found that an online-tailored physical activity intervention program outperformed online standard information.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Belgium
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction*
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Counseling / methods
  • Electronic Mail
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Occupational Health Services / methods*
  • Online Systems
  • Program Evaluation
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires