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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS

A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology


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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 Apr 04

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08260-9

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Fitness mobile apps positively affect attitudes, perceived behavioral control and physical activities

Alessandro GABBIADINI 1 , Tobias GREITEMEYER 2

1 Department of Psychology, University of Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy; 2 Department of Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria


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BACKGROUND: Recent studies suggest that about 6 out of 10 users have installed a fitness tracking application on their smartphone. Nevertheless, more than 59% of adults do not engage in sufficient daily physical activity and much remains unknown with regard to the effectiveness of mobile applications. By adopting the Theory of Planned Behavior, we tested whether the use of fitness apps for daily steps tracking could positively influence people’s health behavior.
METHODS: Participants (N = 78) were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions; in one condition, they were asked to adopt a fitness app for two weeks. No information regarding mobile apps was given for participants in the control condition. In order to test the effects of using a fitness app, a series of two-way mixed ANOVAs were conducted.
RESULTS: Participants in the experimental condition reported more favorable attitudes in the post- test compared to the pre-test, t(43)=4.09, p < .001, d = 0.50. By contrast, in the control condition, the difference on attitudes between pre-test and post-test was not significant (p = 1.00). They also reported higher perceived behavioral control (PBC) scores, t(43) = 4.97, p < .001, d = 0.76, whereas the difference on PBC for the control condition was not significant (p = .27). Participants who used a fitness app reported to have walked more in the post-test compared to the pre-test, t(43) = 2.41, p = .02, d = 0.87, whereas self-reported behavior did not change for participants in the control condition (p = .46).
CONCLUSIONS: The present study provides encouraging evidence for the positive effects of using a fitness-tracking app in promoting health behavior.


KEY WORDS: Fitness mobile apps - Attitudes toward physical activities - Theory of planned behavior

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Publication History

Article first published online: April 04, 2018
Manuscript accepted: March 9, 2018
Manuscript revised: February 13, 2018
Manuscript received: October 10, 2017

Cite this article as

Gabbiadini A, Greitemeyer T. Fitness mobile apps positively affect attitudes, perceived behavioral control and physical activities. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2018 Apr 04. DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08260-9

Corresponding author e-mail

ale.gabbiadini@gmail.com