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13.02.2019 | Review | Ausgabe 5/2019

International Journal of Public Health 5/2019

What is the role of smartphones on physical activity promotion? A systematic review and meta-analysis

International Journal of Public Health > Ausgabe 5/2019
Natan Feter, Tiago Silva dos Santos, Eduardo Lucia Caputo, Marcelo Cozzensa da Silva
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00038-019-01210-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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To identify and evaluate the effect of interventions that used cell phones as a means to promote physical activity (PA).


The databases searched were MedLine/PubMed, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO, Science Direct, Lilacs, and SciELO. After removing duplicates, applying exclusion criteria, and checking the reference lists, 45 studies were reviewed. The Downs and Black (D&B) scale measured methodological quality, and a random effect model was used to compute the meta-analysis of PA by the reported unit (minutes per day or steps per day), delivery agent (application (APP), SMS, or other), and PA measurement (questionnaire, accelerometer, pedometer).


Mobile phone-based PA interventions were efficient in increasing both minutes [10.49; CI (3.37–17.60); p = 0.004] and steps per day [735.17; CI (227.72–1242.61); p = 0.005] in adults when compared to baseline. Furthermore, APP-based interventions were able to increase the number of steps (p = 0.04) and minutes per day of PA (p = 0.04) in adults. Also, 85% of included manuscripts were classified as moderate- to high-quality articles.


Mobile phone-based PA interventions, inclusive those delivery by APP, were effective to increase minutes and steps per day in adults.

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