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Keywords:

  • obesity;
  • physical activity;
  • contingency management;
  • reinforcement;
  • log survivor plot

An estimated 30% of Americans meet the criteria for obesity. Effective, low-cost interventions to increase physical activity are needed to prevent and treat obesity. In this study, 11 healthy adults wore Fitbit accelerometers for 3 weeks. During the initial baseline, subjects earned prize draws for wearing the Fitbit. During intervention, percentile schedules were used to calculate individual prize-draw criteria. The final week was a return to baseline. Four subjects increased step counts as a result of the intervention. A bout analysis of interresponse times revealed that subjects increased overall step counts by increasing daily minutes active and within-bout response rates and decreasing pauses between bouts of activity. Strategies to improve effectiveness are suggested, such as modification of reinforcement probability and amount and identification of the function of periods of inactivity.