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CDC Recommends Activity Monitors to Boost Physical Activity


Recently the Community Preventive Services Task Force*  (CPSTF)  recommended the use of interventions that include activity monitors to increase physical activity in adults with overweight or obesity.

Physical activity interventions that include activity monitors provide participants with a combination of the following:

  • Behavioral instruction in the form of counseling, group-based education, or web-based education
  • Activity monitors that are used to provide regular feedback (i.e., pedometers or accelerometers) and may include enhancements to support or promote physical activity

Interventions must focus on physical activity or promote physical activity within a weight management program. Interventions may include one or more follow-up appointments with a healthcare provider.

The CPSTF considers recently published systematic reviews to provide public health professionals and decision-makers with effective intervention options. A team of specialists in systematic review methods and in physical activity promotion research, practice, and policy selected and evaluated the following published review:

de Vries HJ, Kooiman TJM, van Ittersum MW, van Brussel M, de Groot M. Do activity monitors increase physical activity in adults with overweight or obesity? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity 2016;24(10):2076-91.

The team examined each of the studies included in the systematic review and abstracted supplemental information about study, intervention, and population characteristics.

The CPSTF finding is based on results from the published review, additional information from the included studies, and expert input from team members and the CPSTF.

*The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) is an independent, nonfederal panel of public health and prevention experts that provides evidence-based findings and recommendations about community preventive services, programs, and other interventions aimed at improving population health. Its members represent a broad range of research, practice, and policy expertise in community preventive services, public health, health promotion, and disease prevention.

The fifteen CPSTF members are appointed by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CPSTF members serve five year terms, with possible extensions to maintain a full scope of expertise, complete specific work, and ensure consistency of CPSTF recommendations.

Source: Community Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation for Interventions Including Activity Monitors to Increase Physical Activity in Adults with Overweight or Obesity. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:1203.