Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Promoting physical activity using an activity monitor and a tailored web-based advice: design of a randomized controlled trial [ISRCTN93896459]

Sander M Slootmaker1, Marijke JM Chin A Paw1*, Albertine J Schuit23, Jacob C Seidell13 and Willem van Mechelen1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Department of Occupational and Public Health, Body@Work Research Centre Physical Activity, Work and Health, TNO-VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands

3 Institute of Health Science, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2005, 5:134  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-5-134

Published: 15 December 2005



Ageing is associated with a decrease in physical activity. This decrease particularly occurs during specific transitional life stages. Especially during adolescence and young adulthood a steep decrease in physical activity is observed. Inactive people are often not aware of their inactivity. Providing feedback on the actual physical activity level by an activity monitor can increase awareness and may in combination with an individually tailored physical activity advice stimulate a physically active lifestyle.


In a randomized controlled trial the effectiveness of providing an activity monitor in combination with a personal physical activity advice through the Internet will be examined. Outcome measures are level of physical activity, determinants of physical activity, quality of life, empowerment, aerobic fitness and body composition. Participants are relatively inactive adolescents and young adults who are measured at baseline, after 3 months intervention and 5 months after the end of the intervention. In addition, facilitating and hindering factors for implementation of the intervention will be investigated.


The use of a personal activity monitor in combination with web-based assisted individually tailored health promotion offers a good opportunity to work interactively with large groups of adolescents and young adults and provide them with advice based on their actual activity level. It has great potential to motivate people to change their behaviour and to our knowledge has not been evaluated before.