Promoting physical activity through text messages: the impact of attitude and goal priority messages

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021
Many young adults demonstrate insufficient rates of physical activity (PA) to yield health benefits. The study tested the effectiveness of a text messaging intervention targeting key psychological determinants and PA.

Participants received either attitude messages, goal priority messages, a combination of these, or generic PA information (control). After confirming that groups were matched at baseline, a 2 (attitude: yes vs. no) by 2 (goal priority: yes vs. no) by 2 (time: immediately post-intervention, four weeks post-intervention) randomized control trial tested main and interactive effects.

Results showed participants that received attitude messages had significantly more positive attitudes, intentions and rates of PA. Mediational analyses showed the influence of attitude messages on PA to be fully mediated through the serial path via attitude and intention. There were no other main or interactive effects.

The study provides support for using attitudinal messages delivered via text messaging to influence key psychological determinants and PA.


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  • University of Leeds

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