Public invited to get fit while participating in research
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
For those who find public one-size-fits-all messages about physical activity uninspiring, a team of health promotion experts from across Australia has developed a new physical activity website which delivers individualised health and fitness messages.
TaylorActive is based on years of research into what motivates people to exercise. The easy-to-use program asks participants specific questions about their health and levels of physical activity, and develops an individualised fitness program which is delivered via interactive videos.
Dr Camille Short, who co-developed the TaylorActive website, says research indicates individualised physical activity programs are far more likely to motivate people to exercise than general public health messages.
“We know from past research that people are three times more likely to commence exercise and meet recommended guidelines if they are provided with a tailored text-based intervention program, when compared to people who only consume general health messages,” says Dr Short, from the University of Adelaide’s Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health.
“We’re excited about TaylorActive as it’s going the next step. It’s like having your own cyber fitness coach. It integrates the concept of an individualised physical activity program with the latest visual technology. And we’re expecting it will be even more effective at engaging people in fitness than the successful text version,” she says.
Dr Short says TaylorActive develops an individualised program based on the outcomes that people want to achieve, how motivated they are and how well they progress over time.
“The overall goal of the program is to help people increase their participation in physical activity. However, the program is also set up to allow people to focus on general health, losing weight, improving strength, enhancing fitness and improving mood,” says Dr Short.
“TaylorActive is set up so that people receive information that is relevant to them and their circumstances. For example, men in the program receive information on the benefits of physical activity specific to men – and for men of their age. Likewise for women.
“There are eight sessions that can be completed over a 12-week period, and the program provides advice and support over time to help people track their progress,” she says.
TaylorActive is currently being evaluated and researchers are calling for participants in the community to help them test the effectiveness of online, visual, individualised training programs. Anyone who is over 18, healthy and not currently regularly exercising can take part. To learn more and to sign up for free, visit www.tayloractive.org.au.
TaylorActive has been developed by researchers at Central Queensland University, the University of Newcastle, the University of Alberta and the University of Adelaide and has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
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