Mobile Messaging and Physical Activity in an Organised Public Challenge

Project Plan

Half of all adult Australians have a chronic disease and 20% have at least two. The principle reason for this is poor diet and not enough activity. Wearable trackers have recently become a very effective way of allowing people to track their activity and measures of health, set goals and with the support of others, increase their activity and overall health and wellbeing. Activity Challenges are an effective means to get people started with assessing the state of their health and through active social engagement with others and their environment, set about improving the quality of their lives.

The City of Perth Activity Challenge begins on March 21st and runs for 12 weeks. Participation costs just $25 (that is $2 per week for the 12 weeks) and gives participants access to a Fitbit at a discounted rate, as well as a great range of prizes, special offers and events. Participants can choose to form teams or compete individually, and will monitor their progress, earn badges and access leaderboards via the specially developed Self eHealth app and website. By taking part in the project being run by UWA researchers, participants can also get a health assessment through our partnership with Friendlies Pharmacies.

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The Research Project

The purpose of this study is to assess whether smart technologies may be useful in helping people to manage their health and wellbeing. The study will run as part of the City of Perth Activity Challenge and it uses activity trackers to record the activity of participants over a 12-week period. The aim of the study is to collect data related to the level of health and wellbeing amongst participants.

Wellbeing and motivation will be measured at the beginning and end of the study using established questionnaire based tools suitable for this purpose. We would also like to examine physical measures such as your weight and height, heart rate, blood pressure and waist circumference, as well as some markers from blood tests. These include measures of blood sugar and fat levels.

In addition to increasing activity and awareness of participant’s health and wellbeing, this research project aims to determine:

  • The effect of increased activity levels on a number of measures of health and wellbeing, including mental health, BMI, cardiovascular risk and biochemical measures.
  • The effect of a number of factors including motivational text messages, membership of a team and exercise profiles on activity levels and motivation.

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Your Support

If you decide to participate, you will take part in the City of Perth Activity Challenge in the same way that everyone else is participating in that challenge. Participants of the research study will, in addition to the City of Perth Activity Challenge, visit a Friendlies Pharmacy at the beginning and end of a 12-week period in order to measure blood pressure, height, weight and biochemical markers. Participants will also be asked to complete a number of online questionnaires at the beginning and end of the 12-week period.

Should we detect an abnormality in your blood levels or in your responses to the surveys, we will contact you by email and inform you of the abnormality and suggest follow up with your GP or with an appropriate counselling service. We will be able to provide your GP or health practitioner at your request, with the information that we have obtained through this process.

To participate in this study, click the participate button and complete the online form.

Project Members

Dr David Glance

Leader of the Centre for Software Practice and has been involved with the development and running of clinical and health related software for 10 years

Professor Hugh Barrett

NHMRC Fellow - focusing on dyslipidaemia and cardiovascular disease risk

Professor Marylene Gagne

Professor of industrial and organisational psychology

Dr Esther Ooi

Heart Foundation Future Leaders Fellow - focusing on dyslipidaemia and cardiovascular disease risk

Professor Nikos Ntoumanis

Professor in the Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine Research Group at Curtin University.

Ms Ye’elah Berman
challenge coordinator

Psychology graduate