Cell Phones, Coaching May Jump Start Exercise Routine

2008-01-05 06:04

Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center are trying to determine if cell phone messaging and personal coaching will motivate women at risk for breast cancer to exercise.

"Studies show that post-menopausal women who are overweight and don't exercise are at an increased risk for breast cancer," says Electra Paskett, associate director for Population Sciences at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This research will help us determine if women can increase their activity levels - more specifically, walking 10,000 steps a day - by using simple daily reminders and personal coaching."

The Comprehensive Cancer Center is collaborating with other Ohio State departments to lead the Behavior and Exercise for Physical Health Intervention Study (BePHIT). Participants in the study will be assigned to one of the program's two groups to receive either an automated voice message or a voice message and a call from a personal coach.

"We have created daily voicemail messages tied to psychological theories to help participants set goals, overcome obstacles and feel motivated to exercise," says Prabu David, a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and project leader of the BePHIT study.

Participants in the personal coaching group will receive additional voicemail messages from their health coach reinforcing the automated message. They also will be able to contact their coach for one-on-one counseling, says David, an associate professor at Ohio State's School of Communication.


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