Background: Older minority populations can benefit from increased physical activity, especially walking. Text messaging interventions have the potential to encourage positive changes in health behavior in these groups.
Purpose: To examine if a 6-week program of motivational text messaging increases physical activity (step count) among older African Americans in an urban setting.
Design: RCT pilot study with assignment to motivational text messaging group or a control group.
Setting/participants: Thirty-six African Americans aged 60-85 years.
Intervention: The intervention group received motivational text messages three times a day, 3 days a week, for 6 weeks. Both groups received pedometers and walking manuals to record step counts. The study was conducted and data were analyzed in 2011.
Main outcome measures: The primary outcome measure was step count. The secondary outcome measure was perceived activity levels assessed by the Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire (LTEQ).
Results: The group who received motivational text messages had greater improvements in step count (+679 vs +398; p<0.05) and perceived activity levels (p<0.05) than the group who did not receive text messages.
Conclusions: Motivational text messaging three times a week for 6 weeks was effective in increasing step count and self-reported leisure time exercise behavior among older African Americans.
Registration: This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.govNCT01697475.
Copyright © 2013 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.