Men on the Move-Nashville was a quasi-experimental, 10-week pilot physical activity intervention. A total of 40 overweight or obese African American men ages 30 to 70 (mean age = 47) enrolled in the intervention. Participants attended 8 weekly, 90-minute small group sessions with a certified personal trainer. Each session consisted of discussions aimed to educate and motivate men to be more physically active, and an exercise component aimed to increase endurance, strength, and flexibility. Throughout each week, men used wearable activity trackers to promote self-monitoring and received informational and motivational SMS text messages. Of the 40 enrolled men, 85% completed the intervention, and 80% attended four or more small group sessions. Additionally, 70% of participants successfully used the activity tracker, but only 30% of men utilized their gym memberships. Participants benefited from both the small group discussions and activities through increasing social connection and guidance from their trainer and group members. These African American men reported being motivated to engage in physical activity through each of these technologies. Men reported that the activity trackers provided an important extension to their social network of physically active people. The intervention resulted in significant increases in men's self-reported levels of light, moderate, vigorous, and sports-related physical activities, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and significant decreases in weight and body fat percentage with small, moderate and large effects shown. Including technology and didactic components in small group-based interventions holds promise in motivating African American men to increase their physical activity.
Keywords: African American men; health communications; men’s health; motivational interviewing; obesity; physical activity; self-determination theory.