Master of Science (MS)



Document Type



Many young adults are inactive (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010) and time spent on smartphones and applications (“apps”) is high (Pew Research Center, 2014; The Nielsen Company, 2014). Technology is often viewed as a barrier to health behavior, so seeking ways of using technology to facilitate physical activity (PA) and other health-related behaviors could be beneficial. The Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) framework was used to determine if the NexTrack smartphone app could increase PA behaviors and SCT-related constructs among university students in PA courses. Participants in the NexTrack app intervention group were hypothesized to report increased psychosocial and behavioral PA outcomes compared to students in the control condition. Using quasi-experimental design, university students (N=181) were randomly assigned to one of two groups during an eight-week intervention. The intervention group was introduced to NexTrack and asked to log PA while control participants used paper and pencil logs. All received an instructional presentation on goal setting and were emailed weekly reminders to log their activity. Each participant completed previously established surveys on self-reported PA behavior, self-efficacy (SE), and self-regulation (SR) at baseline and post-intervention. Descriptive statistics, bivariate correlation estimates, and internal consistency estimates were calculated. Main analyses included a series of 2 (gender: male; female) x 2 (group: intervention; control) x 2 (time: baseline; 8-weeks) repeated measures analysis of variance (RM-ANOVA) tests and follow-up mean comparisons to examine group differences. Findings revealed no significant differences in PA, SE, or SR as a result of the intervention. However, participants in the control group logged significantly more events than those in the intervention. Results can help guide technology use in PA courses. Findings revealed that incorporating the NexTrack smartphone app did not facilitate students’ PA or psychosocial related behavior. Although increases in SCT related constructs were not seen by the control group, it may be beneficial to incorporate paper and pencil logging for a comprehensive understanding of PA habits. Based on the findings, use of NexTrack did not facilitate SE, SR, or increases in PA. More research is needed to determine how to best use app technologies as facilitators of PA.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Solmon, Melinda



Included in

Kinesiology Commons