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The Tangibility of Personalized 3D-Printed Feedback May Enhance Youths’ Physical Activity Awareness, Goal Setting, and Motivation: Intervention Study
Journal of Medical Internet Research, Volume: 21, Issue: 6
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Background: In the United Kingdom, most youth fail to achieve the government guideline of 60 min of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily. Reasons that are frequently cited for the underachievement of this guideline include (1) a lack of awareness of personal physical activity levels (...
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Background: In the United Kingdom, most youth fail to achieve the government guideline of 60 min of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily. Reasons that are frequently cited for the underachievement of this guideline include (1) a lack of awareness of personal physical activity levels (PALs) and (2) a lack of understanding of what activities and different intensities contribute to daily targets of physical activity (PA). Technological advances have enabled novel ways of representing PA data through personalized tangible three-dimensional (3D) models.Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of 3D-printed models to enhance youth awareness and understanding of and motivation to engage in PA.Methods: A total of 39 primary school children (22 boys; mean age 7.9 [SD 0.3] years) and 58 secondary school adolescents (37 boys; mean age 13.8 [SD 0.3] years) participated in a 7-week fading intervention, whereby participants were given 3D-printed models of their previous week’s objectively assessed PALs at 4 time points. Following the receipt of their 3D model, each participant completed a short semistructured video interview (children, 4.5 [SD 1.2] min; adolescents, 2.2 [SD 0.6] min) to assess their PA awareness, understanding, and motivation. Data were transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed to enable key emergent themes to be further explored and identified.Results: Analyses revealed that the 3D models enhanced the youths’ awareness of and ability to recall and self-evaluate their PA behaviors. By the end of the study, the youths, irrespective of age, were able to correctly identify and relate to the government’s PA guideline represented on the models, despite their inability to articulate the government's guideline through time and intensity. Following the fourth 3D model, 72% (71/97) of the youths used the models as a goal-setting strategy, further highlighting such models as a motivational tool to promote PA.Conclusions: The results suggest that 3D-printed models of PA enhanced the youths’ awareness of their PA levels and provided a motivational tool for goal setting, potentially offering a unique strategy for future PA promotion.
behavior change; health education; feedback; self-monitoring; accelerometry; schools; adolescent; child
Faculty of Science and Engineering