HealthDay News — Physical activity monitor (PAM)-based interventions are safe and effectively increase physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online Jan. 26 in The BMJ.

Rasmus Tolstrup Larsen, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify randomized controlled trials comparing interventions in which adults received feedback from PAMs with control interventions in which no feedback was provided.

Based on 121 trials (16,743 participants), the researchers found that PAM-based interventions showed a moderate effect (standardized mean difference [SMD], 0.42) on physical activity, equivalent to 1,235 daily steps. Furthermore, PAM had a small effect (SMD, 0.23) on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, equivalent to 48.5 weekly minutes. However, the effect of PAM on sedentary time, equal to 9.9 daily minutes, was insignificant.


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“This study provides evidence for using physical activity monitors for enhancing physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity,” the authors write. “Large scale studies and studies investigating sedentary time in general, especially among overweight participants, are needed to clarify evidence gaps identified here.”

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