Less than half of U.S. adults engage in the recommended amount of physical activity (PA). Internet-delivered PA programs increase short-term PA but long-term adherence is largely equivocal.
To determine whether increased PA following the 16-week internet-delivered Active Living Every Day (ALED-I) program is maintained 8 months later in sedentary and overweight rural adults.
In our previous randomized controlled trial (N = 32; 18 intent-to-treat controls, 14 ALED-I interventions), the ALED-I group increased PA (+1384 steps/day; E.S. = 0.95) and reduced central adiposity. Nine original intervention participants and ten delayed intent-to-treat control participants completed ALED-I and an 8-month follow-up. Pedometer-measured PA, anthropometric variables, and cardiometabolic disease risk factors were assessed at baseline, postintervention, and at 8 months.
Control crossover participants increased PA (+1337 steps/day; P = .04). Eight months following completion of ALED-I (N = 19), PA levels relapsed (–1340 steps/day) and were similar to levels before the intervention (6850 ± 471 steps/day vs. 6755 ± 543 steps/day; P = .89). Total cholesterol and triglycerides improved, –9.9% and –18.2%, respectively, and reductions in central adiposity were maintained (97.1 ± 2.2 cm vs. 97.2 ± 2.2 cm; P = .66).
The ALED-I intervention was efficacious in the short-term but did not produce longer-term adherence to PA. Future theory- based internet-delivered interventions that produce habituation of increased PA are warranted. Study conducted in Laramie, WY from January 2007 through November 2007.
Carr, Bartee, Dorozynski, Smith, and Smith are with the Division of Kinesiology and Health, University of Wyoming. Broomfield is with the College of Health Sciences, University of Wyoming.