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The Intervention Effect of SMS Delivery on Chinese Adolescent’s Physical Activity

Department of Sport & Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China
Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland EH11 4BN, UK
School of Arts and Humanities, Tung Wah College, Hong Kong, China
Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada
Mass Sports Research Center, China Institute of Sport Science, Beijing 100061, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 787;
Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Obesity Treatment and Prevention)
PDF [498 KB, uploaded 4 March 2019]


To examine the effects of short messaging service (SMS) frequency and timing on the efficacy of an SMS-intervention for Hong Kong Chinese adolescents, sixty nine students aged between 12 and 16 (mean age 13.75 ± 0.90) were recruited from five schools in Hong Kong. Participants were randomly assigned into one of five groups: high-frequency + self-selected timing (HST), low-frequency + self-selected timing (LST), high-frequency + assigned timing (HAT), low-frequency + assigned timing (LAT) and the control group. The total duration of the intervention was four weeks. No significant intervention effects were detected in adolescent’s PA among the five groups (F = 1.14, p = 0.346). No significant differences were observed in the stage movement among the five groups (χ2 = 6.18, p = 0.627). No significant differences appeared in the exercise benefits, barriers and benefits/barriers differential scores. However, a growth trend in the exercise benefits score in the LST and HAT groups was found in contrast to the downswing in the control group. The exercise barriers score in the HST group showed the largest reduction after intervention. The benefits/barriers differential score in all the intervention groups increased, whereas it decreased in the control group. Although an increase is demonstrated in the high dosage SMS frequency and timing, no significant intervention effects were found among the five groups in PA behavior, stage of change and exercise benefits and barriers among Hong Kong Chinese adolescents. View Full-Text
Keywords: mHealth; children’s physical activity; text message mHealth; children’s physical activity; text message

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Lau, P.W.C.; Pitkethly, A.J.; Leung, B.W.C.; Lau, E.Y.; Wang, J.-J. The Intervention Effect of SMS Delivery on Chinese Adolescent’s Physical Activity. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 787.

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