Online, set, go - Design and empirical test of an IT-based physical activity intervention
Inactivity is the most widespread health risk factor in modern societies today, causing not only
individual health problems but also immense costs for the healthcare systems. This emphasizes the
need for improving population-wide impact of activity interventions, with particular attention to costeffectiveness, scalability, and delivery channels. In this paper, we present the theory-motivated design
(drawing on the transtheoretical model) and empirical test of an IT-based physical activity
programme (Personal Health Manager, PHM). In order to be as cost-effective as possible, the PHM
was designed to have only few face-to-face contacts and to deliver supervision through the internet.
Our design and implementation proved to be successful in a pilot test with 88 employees of an
automotive company. The PHM increased participants’ activity, motivational readiness for change,
functional capacity and transported the feeling of being well taken care of. Enhanced supervision did
not increase performance. The results are first evidence that internet-mediated supervision can be
successful in promoting physical activity and provide a starting point for investigating the role of faceto-face-contact and service levels in physical activity programs. The PHM and similar designs are
also relevant to practice as the semi-automation makes them eligible for large-scale corporate or
public health programs.
Knebel, Uta; Leimeister, Jan Marco; Esch, Sebastian; Pressler, Axel; and Krcmar, Helmut, "Online, set, go - Design and empirical test of an IT-based physical activity intervention" (2009). ECIS 2009 Proceedings. 354.