Experiences of using a novel self-monitoring device, the SitFIT, to help men sit less and walk more: Findings from a pilot trial

A Martin, C Gray, H van der Ploeg, C Bunn, K Hunt, S Wyke, N Mutrie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


Purpose: Time spent sedentary is associated with poor health. Self-monitoring of walking, using pedometers for objectively measured real-time feedback, is highly effective at increasing physical activity. There is no similar device to self-monitor time spent sitting. The aim of this study was: a) to evaluate the acceptability and usability of a prototype of the novel pocket worn SitFIT (TM) as a self-monitoring device for reducing sedentary behaviour and increasing physical activity; b) to assess whether feedback on sitting time or standing time was likely to be most effective. Methods: A convenience sample of forty sedentary men (30-65 years) was randomised into one of two intervention groups. Over a period of 4 weeks, one group received a SitFIT (TM) prototype providing feedback on steps and time spent sedentary (lying/sitting); the other group received a SitFIT (TM) prototype providing feedback on steps and time spent upright (standing/walking). Incremental goals for sedentary/upright time and steps were provided in conjunction with information how to achieve the goals. Change in physical activity and sedentary behaviour was assessed using activPAL (TM) monitors at baseline and 4 week follow up, at which point all participants returned their SitFIT (TM). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants after 4 and 8 weeks. The interviews were recorded digitally, transcribed and then analysed thematically. Results: On average, participants in both groups reduced their sedentary time by 32±98 minutes/day (F=4.11, p=0.05) and increased their standing time by 23±60 minutes/day (F=5.87, p=0.02). Step count was increased by 260±2473 steps/day (non-significant). There were no between-group differences. Overall, the SitFIT (TM) was reported as acceptable and usable and seen as helpful to reduce time spent sitting. Participants provided suggestions for improving the SitFIT (TM) design, some of which were incorporated into the next version of the SitFIT (TM). Conclusions: The SitFIT (TM) has potential to be used as a self-monitoring device in interventions aiming to reduce sedentary behaviour. The effectiveness of the SitFIT (TM) for changing sedentary behaviour remains to be determined in a fully powered trial.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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