Objectives The aim of this study is to examine the effects of Activity Promotion System (APs) on promoting physical activity (PA) for overweight subjects with metabolic abnormalities. Methods We designed a six-month randomised controlled trial with a cross-over design, and recruited 53 subjects. Subjects in group A used APs with a wearable device measuring whole-day PA, including sleep time, sedentary, light, moderate and vigorous PA and a web-based feedback system in the first three months and followed by usual care with traditional health education in the next three months. Subjects in group B received the above programs in a reverse order. PA and metabolic profiles were measured prior to the intervention (T1), three months after the first intervention (T2), and six months after the other intervention (T3), respectively. An independent t test was used to test the differences between periods with and without Aps. Results This study found that the APs had short-term effects on decreasing sedentary time and increasing mild PA, total PA, daily step counts, and calories burnt. With regard to the secondary outcome measures of metabolic abnormalities, the results showed that APs had had no effect on metabolic abnormalities, except a borderline decreasing of waist circumference. Conclusion Using this APs might be an effective approach to decrease sedentary time and increase PA for an overweight non-elderly adult population with only metabolic abnormalities. However, long-term studies with APs are needed to further confirm the effectiveness of this innovative Activity Promotion System.
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