Activity monitor intervention to promote physical activity of physicians-in-training: randomized controlled trial.

TitleActivity monitor intervention to promote physical activity of physicians-in-training: randomized controlled trial.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsThorndike AN, Mills S, Sonnenberg L, Palakshappa D, Gao T, Pau CT, Regan S
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue6
Paginatione100251
Date Published2014
ISSN1932-6203
KeywordsAdult, Blood Pressure, Body Composition, Cholesterol, Competitive Behavior, Counseling, Feedback, Sensory, Female, Health Promotion, Humans, Internship and Residency, Male, Monitoring, Physiologic, Motor Activity, Physicians, Young Adult
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Physicians are expected to serve as role models for healthy lifestyles, but long work hours reduce time for healthy behaviors. A hospital-based physical activity intervention could improve physician health and increase counseling about exercise.

METHODS: We conducted a two-phase intervention among 104 medical residents at a large hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Phase 1 was a 6-week randomized controlled trial comparing daily steps of residents assigned to an activity monitor displaying feedback about steps and energy consumed (intervention) or to a blinded monitor (control). Phase 2 immediately followed and was a 6-week non-randomized team steps competition in which all participants wore monitors with feedback. Phase 1 outcomes were: 1) median steps/day and 2) proportion of days activity monitor worn. The Phase 2 outcome was mean steps/day on days monitor worn (≥500 steps/day). Physiologic measurements were collected at baseline and study end. Median steps/day were compared using Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. Mean steps were compared using repeated measures regression analyses.

RESULTS: In Phase 1, intervention and control groups had similar activity (6369 vs. 6063 steps/day, p = 0.16) and compliance with wearing the monitor (77% vs. 77% of days, p = 0.73). In Phase 2 (team competition), residents recorded more steps/day than during Phase 1 (CONTROL: 7,971 vs. 7,567, p = 0.002;

INTERVENTION: 7,832 vs. 7,739, p = 0.13). Mean compliance with wearing the activity monitor decreased for both groups during Phase 2 compared to Phase 1 (60% vs. 77%, p<0.001). Mean systolic blood pressure decreased (p = 0.004) and HDL cholesterol increased (p<0.001) among all participants at end of study compared to baseline.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the activity monitor intervention did not have a major impact on activity or health, the high participation rates of busy residents and modest changes in steps, blood pressure, and HDL suggest that more intensive hospital-based wellness programs have potential for promoting healthier lifestyles among physicians.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01287208.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0100251
Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID24950218
PubMed Central IDPMC4065028
Grant ListK23 HL093221 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
K23 HL93221 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States