Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 101–111 | Cite as

MobileMums: A Randomized Controlled Trial of an SMS-Based Physical Activity Intervention

  • Brianna S. Fjeldsoe
  • Yvette D. Miller
  • Alison L. Marshall
Original Article



Postnatal women (<12 months postpartum) are at increased risk of physical inactivity.


To evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of a theory-based physical activity (PA) intervention delivered to postnatal women primarily via mobile telephone short message service (SMS).


Eighty-eight women were randomized to the intervention (n = 45) or minimal contact control (n = 43) condition. The 12-week intervention consisted of a face-to-face PA goal-setting consultation, a goal-setting magnet, three to five personally tailored SMS/week and a nominated support person who received two SMS per week. SMS content targeted constructs of social cognitive theory. Frequency (days/week) and duration (min/week) of PA participation and walking for exercise were assessed via self-report at baseline, 6 and 13 weeks.


Intervention participants increased PA frequency by 1.82 days/week (SE ± 0.18) by 13 weeks (F(2,85) = 4.46, p = 0.038) and walking for exercise frequency by 1.08 days/week (SE ± 0.24) by 13 weeks (F(2,85) = 5.38, p = 0.02). Positive trends were observed for duration (min/week) of PA and walking for exercise.


Intervention exposure resulted in increased frequency of PA and walking for exercise in postnatal women.


Mobile phone Physical activity Postnatal Intervention Social cognitive theory 



This study was funded by Queensland Health. Dr. Fjeldsoe was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award. Dr. Miller was supported by a University of Queensland Post-doctoral Fellowship. Dr. Marshall was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Award #553000. Denise Koh managed the database from which participants were recruited. The authors would like to sincerely thank all of the women involved in this research.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brianna S. Fjeldsoe
    • 1
  • Yvette D. Miller
    • 2
  • Alison L. Marshall
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Population/School of Psychology, The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Psychology, The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation/School of Public Health, Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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