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The tangibility of personalised 3D printed feedback may enhance youth's physical activity awareness, goal-setting and motivation

Crossley, Sam Grame Morgan, McNarry, Melitta Anne, Eslambolchilar, Parisa ORCID:, Knowles, Zoe and Mackintosh, Kelly Alexandra 2019. The tangibility of personalised 3D printed feedback may enhance youth's physical activity awareness, goal-setting and motivation. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 21 (6) , e12067. 10.2196/12067

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Background: In the UK, the majority of youth fail to achieve Government guidelines of 60 minutes moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily. Two frequently cited reasons for underachievement of these guidelines are thought to be youths lack of awareness as to their physical activity levels (PAL) and an understanding of what activities and different intensities constitute towards the daily target of physical activity (PA). Technological advances have enabled novel ways of representing physical activity data through personalised tangible 3D models. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of 3D printed models to enhance youths’ awareness and understanding of and motivation to engage in PA. Methods: Thirty-nine primary school children (22 boys; 7.9 ± 0.3 years) and fifty-eight secondary school adolescents (37 boys; 13.8 ± 0.3 years) participated in a 7-week fading intervention, whereby participants were given 3D printed models of their previous week’s objectively assessed PAL at four time points. Following receipt of their 3D model, each participant completed a short semi-structured video interview (children, 4.5 ± 1.2 minutes; adolescents, 2.2 ± 0.6 minutes) to assess their PA awareness, understanding and motivation. Data were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed to enable key emergent themes to be further explored and identified. Results: Analyses revealed that the 3D models enhanced youths’ awareness of, ability to recall and self-evaluate their PA behaviours. By the end of the study, youths, irrespective of age, were able to correctly identify and relate to the Government PA guidelines represented on the models, despite their inability to articulate the government guideline through time and intensity. Following the fourth 3D model, 72% of youths utilised the models as a goal-setting strategy, further highlighting such models as a motivational tool to promote PA. Conclusions: The results suggest that 3D printed models of physical activity enhanced youths’ awareness of their PA levels and provided a motivational tool for goal-setting, potentially offering a unique strategy for future PA promotion.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Publisher: JMIR Publications
ISSN: 2291-5222
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 September 2019
Date of Acceptance: 31 March 2019
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 01:17

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