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Internet-based contingency management increases walking in sedentary adults

Authors


  • Action Editor, Matthew Normand
  • This research was financially supported by the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida. We thank Jessica Brown, Valeria Altieri, and Tanvi Pendharkar for their help with recruitment, data collection, and data entry. We also thank Steven Meredith, Rachel Cassidy, Brantley Jarvis, and Phillip Erb for providing suggestions on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Allison N. Kurti, Department of Psychology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 112250, Gainesville, Florida 32611 (e-mail: akurti@ufl.edu).

Abstract

Despite the link between inactivity and premature mortality, most adults exercise less than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008) recommends; thus, interventions to increase exercise are needed. The present study employed an Internet-based intervention to increase walking in 12 sedentary adults over 50 years of age. In Experiment 1, participants received monetary consequences for meeting an increasing series of step goals on at least 3 days during consecutive 5-day blocks. Across participants, steps increased 182% from screening to the end of the intervention, and 87% of step goals were met. In Experiment 2, goals were set using the same schedule as in Experiment 1, but no monetary consequences were provided for meeting them. Across participants, steps increased 108%, and 52% of goals were met. Across both studies, 11 of 12 participants increased their steps according to experimenter-arranged criteria. These results support the efficacy of an Internet-based intervention to increase walking in sedentary adults.

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