Original Research

Translational Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 357-369

Implementation and evaluation of an incentivized Internet-mediated walking program for obese adults

  • Donna M ZulmanAffiliated withCenter for Health Care Evaluation, VA Palo Alto Health Care SystemDivision of General Medical Disciplines, Stanford University Email author 
  • , Laura J. DamschroderAffiliated withHealth Services Research and Development Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor VA Medical Center
  • , Ryan G SmithAffiliated withJefferson Medical College
  • , Paul J. ResnickAffiliated withSchool of Information, University of Michigan
  • , Ananda SenAffiliated withDepartment of Family Medicine, University of Michigan Medical SchoolDepartment of Biostatistics, University of Michigan
  • , Erin L KrupkaAffiliated withSchool of Information, University of Michigan
  • , Caroline R RichardsonAffiliated withHealth Services Research and Development Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor VA Medical CenterDepartment of Family Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

ABSTRACT

In response to rising health care costs associated with obesity rates, some health care insurers are adopting incentivized technology-enhanced wellness programs. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the large-scale implementation of an incentivized Internet-mediated walking program for obese adults and to examine program acceptance, adherence, and impact. A mixed-methods evaluation was conducted to investigate program implementation, acceptance, and adherence rates, and physical activity rates among program participants. Program implementation was shaped by national and state policies, data security concerns, and challenges related to incentivizing participation. Among 15,397 eligible individuals, 6,548 (43 %) elected to participate in the walking program, achieving an average of 6,523 steps/day (SD 2,610 steps). Participants who uploaded step counts for 75 % of days for a full year (n = 2,885) achieved an average of 7,500 steps (SD 3,093). Acceptance and participation rates in this incentivized Internet-mediated walking program suggest that such interventions hold promise for engaging obese adults in physical activity.

KEYWORDS

Obesity Exercise Prevention Internet EHealth