The purpose of this paper is to test the effects of augmenting an evidence-based physical activity intervention within an existing commercial weight loss program to assess effects on increasing physical activity and reducing psychological distress.
The CONSORT guidelines were adopted for the study. In total, 49 women with overweight or obesity (M age=39.5, SD:12.4; M Body Mass Index=31.02, SD: 2.10) enrolled in a six week commercial weight loss program were randomized to an intervention or a control group. Participants in the control group received care as usual; participants in the intervention group additionally received an evidence-based intervention to increase physical activity that included behavior change techniques including implementation intentions, goal-setting and self-monitoring.
Weekly steps increased in the intervention group (M=31,516.25; SD=9,310.17 to M=62,851.36; SD=13,840.4) significantly more (p<0.001, =0.32) than in the control group (M=30,207.67; SD=7,833.29) to M=46,969.33 (SD=9,470.96), along with experiencing significantly lower anxiety (p<0.001, =0.15), social dysfunction (p<0.001, =0.16) and depression symptoms (p<0.05, =0.08) at follow-up.
This intervention warrants extension to those seeking to improve mental health through physical activity.
This study took a novel approach of augmenting a commercial weight loss program with a theory-based physical activity module, showing positive effects for physical activity behavior and psychological health.
All authors declare that we have no conflict of interest to declare. No funding was sourced for this research project.
Breslin, G., Sweeney, L., Shannon, S., Murphy, M., Hanna, D., Meade, M. and Armitage, C.J. (2020), "The effect of an augmented commercial weight loss program on increasing physical activity and reducing psychological distress in women with overweight or obesity: a randomised controlled trial", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 145-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-08-2018-0055
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