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Emily Read

Background:

Rural Canadians are at increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Physical inactivity is a primary target for preventing and reversing metabolic syndrome. Adherence to lifestyle interventions may be enhanced using cell phones and self-monitoring technologies. This study investigated the feasibility of a physical activity and self-monitoring intervention targeting high-risk adults in rural Ontario.

Methods:

Rural adults (n = 25, mean = 57.0 ± 8.7 years) with ≥ 2 criteria for metabolic syndrome participated in an 8-week stage-matched physical activity and self-monitoring intervention. Participants monitored blood glucose, blood pressure, weight, and physical activity using self-monitoring devices and Blackberry Smart phones. VO2max, stage of change, waist circumference, weight, blood lipids, and HbA1c were measured at weeks 1, 4, and 8.

Results:

Adherence to self-monitoring was > 94%. Participants’ experiences and perceptions of the technology were positive. Mean stage of change increased 1 stage, physical activity increased 26%, and predicted VO2max increased 17% (P < .05). Significant changes in weight, waist circumference, diastolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol were found.

Conclusions:

This stage-matched technology intervention for increased physical activity was feasible and effective.