Do activity monitors increase physical activity in adults with overweight or obesity? a systematic review and meta-analysis

Herman de Vries, Thea Kooiman, Miriam van Ittersum, Marco van Brussel, Martijn de Groot

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To systematically assess contemporary knowledge regarding behavioral physical activity interventions including an activity monitor (BPAI+) in adults with overweight or obesity.

Methods: PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, CENTRAL, and PEDro were searched for eligible full-text articles up to 1 July 2015. Studies eligible for inclusion were (randomized) controlled trials describing physical activity outcomes in adults with overweight or obesity. Methodological quality was independently assessed employing the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for risk of bias.

Results: Fourteen studies (1,157 participants) were included for systematic review and 11 for meta-analysis. A positive trend in BPAI+ effects on several measures of physical activity was ascertained compared with both wait list or usual care and behavioral physical activity interventions without an activity monitor (BPAI−). No convincing evidence of BPAI+ effectiveness on weight loss was found compared with BPAI−.

Conclusions: Behavioral physical activity interventions with an activity monitor increase physical activity in adults with overweight or obesity. Also, adding an activity monitor to behavioral physical activity interventions appears to increase the effect on physical activity, although current evidence has not yet provided conclusive evidence for its effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2078-2091
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016



  • adults
  • obesity
  • physical activity
  • sensor technology

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