Effectiveness of a website and mobile phone based physical activity and nutrition intervention for middle-aged males: Trial protocol and baseline findings of the ManUp Study
Duncan, Mitch J
Rosenkranz, Richard R
Caperchione, Cristina M
Kolt, Gregory S
Mummery, W Kerry
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Background: Compared to females, males experience higher rates of chronic disease and mortality, yet few health promotion initiatives are specifically aimed at men. Therefore, the aim of the ManUp Study is to examine the effectiveness of an IT-based intervention to increase the physical activity and nutrition behaviour and literacy in middle-aged males (aged 35–54 years). Method/Design: The study design was a two-arm randomised controlled trial, having an IT-based (applying website and mobile phones) and a print-based intervention arm, to deliver intervention materials and to promote self-monitoring of physical activity and nutrition behaviours. Participants (n = 317) were randomised on a 2:1 ratio in favour of the IT-based intervention arm. Both intervention arms completed assessments at baseline, 3, and 9 months. All participants completed self-report assessments of physical activity, sitting time, nutrition behaviours, physical activity and nutrition literacy, perceived health status and socio-demographic characteristics. A randomly selected sub-sample in the IT-based (n = 61) and print-based (n = 30) intervention arms completed objective measures of height, weight, waist circumference, and physical activity as measured by accelerometer (Actigraph GT3X). The average age of participants in the IT-based and print-based intervention arm was 44.2 and 43.8 years respectively. The majority of participants were employed in professional occupations (IT-based 57.6%, Print-based 54.2%) and were overweight or obese (IT-based 90.8%, Print-based 87.3%). At baseline a lower proportion of participants in the IT-based (70.2%) group agreed that 30 minutes of physical activity each day is enough to improve health compared to the print-based (82.3%) group (p = .026). The IT-based group consumed a significantly lower number of serves of red meat in the previous week, compared to the print-based group (p = .017). No other significant between-group differences were observed at baseline. Discussion: The ManUp Study will examine the effectiveness of an IT-based approach to improve physical activity and nutrition behaviour and literacy. Study outcomes will provide much needed information on the efficacy of this approach in middle aged males, which is important due to the large proportions of males at risk, and the potential reach of IT-based interventions.
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