Digital behavior change interventions to promote physical activity and/or reduce sedentary behavior in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Review written by Dr Mariana Wingood info

Key Points

  1. Digital behavior change interventions are a feasible and effective method to create behavior change among inactive older adults, particularly when implementing > 3 behavior change techniques.
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About 31% of the world’s population is not meeting physical activity (PA) guidelines (1). This lack of activity increases with age and up to 90% of older adults are not meeting the recommended 150 minutes/week of PA (2). This is concerning, particularly when considering that inactivity is one of the leading causes of global morbidity and mortality (3). The high rate and consequences of inactivity highlights the need to identify interventions that address this concern. Previous literature has identified that individually tailored interventions and programs that apply essential Behavior Change Techniques (BCTs) are effective at creating behavior change among inactive older adults (4). Unfortunately, due to the time requirement for long-term change, these interventions are not always feasible. Thus, an alternative method, such as using Digital Behavior Change Interventions (DBCI) needs to be examined (5,6). The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy and effectiveness of DBCI in older adults (≥50 years) on PA and Sedentary Behavior (SB).

Up to 90% of older adults are not meeting the recommended 150 minutes/week of physical activity.
Older adults are more likely to engage in physical activity if meaningful motivators such as social and environmental supports and enjoyment are present.


Search Strategy: Used PRISMA Guidelines. Studies included: RCT and pre- and post-test studies were used if they included older adults (aged 50+ years), digital interventions to promote PA and/or reduce SB, and were written in English. Key Terms: physical activity

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