Background: Adequate levels of physical activity (PA) and good cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) are associated with profound health benefits for individuals with mobility disability (MD). Despite the vast amount of research published in the field of PA interventions, little attention has been given to individuals with MD. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of an app-based versus a supervised exercise and health coaching program to support adults with MD to increase levels of PA, CRF, and improve body composition. Methods: Participants with self-perceived MD, aged 18 to 45 years, were included in this 12-week parallel-group randomized controlled trial and allocated at random to an app-based intervention, using commercially available apps—the Swedish Military training app (FMTK), the Acupedo walking app, and the LogMyFood food photography app—or a supervised exercise and health coaching intervention, including 1 weekly supervised exercise session and healthy lifestyle coaching. The primary outcome was the level of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) measured with accelerometers. Secondary outcomes included CRF measured by a submaximal test performed on a stationary bicycle and body composition measured by bioelectrical impedance. All outcomes were measured at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks. Linear mixed-effect models were used to assess the between-group differences, as well as the within-group changes through time, in each intervention group. Results: A total of 110 participants with MD were randomized to an app-based intervention (n=55) or a supervised exercise and health intervention (n=55). The mean age of participants was 34.9 years (SD 6.1), and 81.8% (90/110) of the participants were women. CRF showed a moderate increase in both groups after 12 weeks—1.07 (95% CI –0.14 to 2.27) mL/kg/min increase in the app-based group and 1.76 (95% CI 0.70 to 2.83) mLkg/min increase in the supervised exercise group. However, the intention-to-treat analysis showed no significant differences between the groups in MVPA or CRF after 12 weeks. Waist circumference was significantly lower in the app-based intervention group. Conclusions: Commercially available apps increased levels of CRF and improved body composition over 12 weeks to the same extent as supervised exercise sessions, showing that both are equally effective. However, neither the app-based intervention nor the supervised exercise intervention increased MVPA. Trial Registration: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 22387524; http://isrctn.com/ISRCTN22387524.
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