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Sherry L. Pagoto, Kristin L. Schneider, Jessica Oleski, Brian Smith and Michael Bauman

Background:

The present feasibility study describes engagement and spread of a Twitter-based core-strengthening challenge.

Methods:

A challenge that entailed completing a core-strengthening exercise using a hashtag (#PlankADay) was circulated via Twitter. This study surveyed users who joined during the first 2 months of the challenge to describe their characteristics, including social support for exercise and to what extent they invited others to join. The study continued to track total users for 10 months.

Results:

Of 407 individuals who joined in the first 2 months, 105 completed surveys. Among these, 81% were female and 86% white and mean age was 35.8. 72% participated for at least 1 month and 47% participated for at least 2 months. Survey participants reported that the challenge increased their enjoyment of abdominal exercise. Of the 68% of participants who invited others to participate, 28% recruited none, 66% recruited 1–5 users, and 6% recruited 10 or more users. Participants reported that online friends provided as much positive social support for exercise as family and in-person friends. In 14 months, 4941 users produced 76,746 tweets and mean total tweets per user was 15.86 (SD = 75.34; range = 1–2888).

Conclusion:

Online social networks may be a promising mechanism to spread brief exercise behaviors.

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Marion E. Hambrick, Jason M. Simmons, Greg P. Greenhalgh and T. Christopher Greenwell

The online social network Twitter has grown exponentially since 2008. The current study examined Twitter use among professional athletes who use Twitter to communicate with fans and other players. The study used content analysis to place 1,962 tweets by professional athletes into one of six categories: interactivity, diversion, information sharing, content, promotional, and fanship. Many of the tweets fell into the interactivity category (34%). Athletes used Twitter to converse directly with their followers. Those with the most followers had more interactivity tweets. A large percentage of tweets (28%) fell into the diversion category, because many of the tweets involved non-sports-related topics, and relatively few of the tweets (15%) involved players discussing their own teams or sports. In addition, only 5% of the tweets were promotional in nature, indicating that professional athletes may not be taking advantage of the promotional opportunities Twitter may provide.

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Maurice Vergeer and Leon Mulder

. Advertising on social media is much more effective due to the audience’s greater involvement and homogeneity ( McCarthy et al., 2014 ). This implies that being popular on social media (i.e., having a large online social network) can be highly beneficial not only in promoting the sport but also in creating

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Marion E. Hambrick

Sport industry groups including athletes, teams, and leagues use Twitter to share information about and promote their products. The purpose of this study was to explore how sporting event organizers and influential Twitter users spread information through the online social network. The study examined two bicycle race organizers using Twitter to promote their events. Using social network analysis, the study categorized Twitter messages posted by the race organizers, identified their Twitter followers and shared relationships within Twitter, and mapped the spread of information through these relationships. The results revealed that the race organizers used their Twitter home pages and informational and promotional messages to attract followers. Popular Twitter users followed the race organizers early, typically within the first 4 days of each homepage’s creation, and they helped spread information to their respective followers. Sporting event organizers can leverage Twitter and influential users to share information about and promote their events.

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://medicine.uiowa.edu/internalmedicine/genetherapy/profile/helena-laroche Social Comparison in Online Social Networks: The Effects on Exercise Class Attendance Online social networks may influence behavior through a variety of mechanisms. The authors of this study evaluated the effects of online social support and social comparison on exercise class attendance. A double

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Sarah Edney, Tim Olds, Jillian Ryan, Ronald Plotnikoff, Corneel Vandelanotte, Rachel Curtis and Carol Maher

performed within peer groups. 55 , 64 Baseline similarities in weight and PA status may positively influence behavior change throughout an intervention. For example, a recent online social networking website providing support for achieving weight loss found that the likelihood of a person losing weight

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Michael Kirkwood, Sheau-Fen Yap and Yingzi Xu

In the sporting arena, the consumption of sport is increasingly moving to the online realm. Online social networks have facilitated extensive interactions and collaborative consumption activities among like-minded fans, leading to the creation of online sport-fan communities ( Hedlund, 2014 ). In

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Jocelyn Kernot, Lucy Lewis, Tim Olds and Carol Maher

giving adults a pedometer to monitor steps can assist with increasing physical activity. 27 – 29 It was hypothesized that the online social networking aspects of the MSIU app would be more effective than a traditional pedometer intervention. To test this hypothesis, a second intervention condition was

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Nicole M.S. Belanger and Julie Hicks Patrick

RF , Zimmer C , Ammerman AS . The role of companionship, esteem, and informational support in explaining physical activity among young women in an online social network intervention . J Behav Med . 2014 ; 37 ( 5 ): 955 – 966 . PubMed doi:10.1007/s10865-013-9534-5 10.1007/s10865-013-9534-5 23

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Mitali S. Thanawala, Juned Siddique, John A. Schneider, Alka M. Kanaya, Andrew J. Cooper, Swapna S. Dave, Nicola Lancki and Namratha R. Kandula

consideration when trying to design interventions to increase physical activity. Our results provide empirical evidence of links between interpersonal social environment and physical activity among South Asians in the United States. Although there is a large and growing literature about online social networks