IHC faculty Deborah Tate and Jane Brown recently published a paper on a randomized controlled trial about a social media-based physical activity intervention. The control group received access to a website with educational materials and a physical activity self-monitoring tool. The experimental group received access to the same site and was enrolled in a Facebook group dedicated to physical activity. Participants in the Facebook group were encouraged through e-mails, website instructions, and moderator communications to solicit and provide social support. The results found that both groups experienced increases in social support and physical activity over time, however there were no differences between the control and experimental groups.


Cavallo, D.N., Tate, D.F., Ries, A.V., Brown, J.D., DeVellis, R.F., Ammerman, A.S. (2012). A social media-based physical activity intervention: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 43(5), 527 – 532.

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