Feasibility and effectiveness of a web-based physical activity intervention for working mothers

Emily L. Mailey, Jennifer Huberty, Brandon C. Irwin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations


    Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of a web-based intervention to promote physical activity and self-worth among working mothers. Methods: Participants (N = 69) were randomly assigned to receive a standard web-based intervention or an enhanced intervention that included group dynamics strategies to promote engagement. The 8-week intervention was guided by self-determination theory. Each week, participants were instructed to complete 3 tasks: listen to a podcast related to well-being, complete a workbook assignment, and communicate with other participants on a discussion board. Participants in the enhanced condition received an additional weekly task to enhance group cohesion. Data were collected at baseline, week 8, and week 16. Results: Physical activity (P < .001, η2 = 0.35) and self-worth (P < .001, η2 = 0.39) increased significantly in both groups following the intervention, and introjected (P < .001, η2 = 0.30) and external motivation (P = .04, η2 = 0.10) decreased. Website use declined across the 8-week intervention in both groups (P < .001, η2 = 0.48); however, discussion board use was higher in the enhanced condition (P = .04, η2 = 0.21). Conclusions: These findings suggest web-based interventions can improve physical activity and self-worth among working mothers. Group dynamics strategies only minimally enhanced user engagement, and future studies are needed to optimize web-based intervention designs.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)822-829
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
    Issue number8
    StatePublished - 2016


    • Group dynamics
    • Internet
    • Self-determination theory
    • Self-worth

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine


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