Online interactions motivate sedentary cardiac patients to exercise

Online interactive planning sessions personalized to an individual's needs were found to be an effective tool for initiating physical activity among sedentary cardiac patients, according to a new study.

For the study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, researchers examined the impact of computer-based interactive sessions geared toward encouraging physical activity for patients who had a negative experience with exercise treadmill testing. In particular, a "tailored social cognitive intervention" was found to be more effective than free vouchers to nearby gyms. The combination of both, however, was more effective than the former strategy.

"These findings provide initial evidence that brief, low-dosage, tailored, interactive technology-based interventions to initiate [physical activity] can be feasibly delivered within the healthcare setting, in particular as part of the [exercise treadmill testing] system, and lead to increased [physical activity] among sedentary cardiac patients," the authors said. Article