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Qualitative Exploration of the Acceptability of a Mobile Phone and Pedometer-Based Physical Activity Program in a Diverse Sample of Sedentary Women


Correspondence to:

Yoshimi Fukuoka, 3333 California Street, Suite 340, San Francisco, CA 94143. E-mail:



The objectives of this paper were to explore the acceptability of components of a mobile phone/pedometer-based physical activity program and to understand motivators and barriers to increase physical activity in a diverse sample of sedentary women.

Design and Sample

Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted following a 3-week pilot mobile phone/pedometer-based physical activity intervention. Forty-one sedentary women participated in the study.


Subjects were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. A qualitative description method was used to thematically analyze the interviews. Two investigators reviewed the transcripts independently and identified codes based on the main concerns in the interview questions.


Three themes emerged from qualitative data shedding light on the perceived acceptability and usefulness of a mobile phone/pedometer-based intervention: (1) Monitor me: mobile phone/pedometer as self-monitoring tools, (2) Motivate me: cycle of feedback in goal setting and usefulness/uselessness of daily random messages, (3) Mobilize me: engaging and adapting physical activity to fit one's own lifestyle.


Mobile phone and pedometer-based physical activity programs might be helpful in keeping sedentary women engaged and motivated to increase their physical activity. A randomized controlled trial of this intervention is warranted.