Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting

Incentivising physical activity and reduced sedentary behaviours to improve heart health: The Active Choices Incentive (ACHIEVE) study (#201)

Kylie Ball 1 , Kok-Leong Ong 2 , Ruth Hunter 3 , Jo Salmon 1 , Michelle Jackson 1 , Marj Moodie 1 , Melanie Chisholm 4 , Mimi Skoko 5 , David Crawford 1
  1. Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia
  2. Office of La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC, Australia
  3. UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health/Centre for Public Health, Queens University, Belfast, N/A, Northern Ireland
  4. National Heart Foundation of Australia, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  5. GMHBA, Geelong, VIC, Australia

Incentivising obesity-protective behaviours is a promising strategy for promoting a healthy weight, but there exists only limited evidence on the effectiveness of incentives for promoting physical activity, and even less on their effectiveness for reducing sedentary behaviours. This presentation describes the methods and baseline characteristics of participants in the Active Choices Incentive Study (ACHIEVE), a pre-post design study of the acceptability, feasibility and effects on physical activity, sedentary time, adiposity and blood pressure of providing non-financial incentives to a sample of middle-aged adults. Eighty-two sedentary participants (44% men, aged 40-65y, mean BMI 30.9, SD 6.0) responded to an invitation to GMHBA health insurance members, were screened as eligible, measured for height, weight and blood pressure and provided self-report survey data on physical activity and sedentary time. They were provided with a FitBit One and enrolled in the four-month incentivising intervention. Participants receive daily points, capped at 60 per day, based on FitBit data, with one point per minute allocated for engaging in at least moderate-intensity physical activity, and one point per minute reduction in sedentary behaviour, with the overall goal of at least 150 mins/week for each outcome. Participants who met prescribed points goals and maintained these over two, then four weeks, received incentives, including Heart Foundation merchandise, supermarket gift vouchers, and the chance to win an iPad mini, after two weeks, then at the end of each month. To evaluate the intervention, physical activity, sedentary behaviours, adiposity and blood pressure will be assessed at post-intervention and compared to baseline. Process data on program appeal and on incentive and program costs will also be collected, as will participants’ health insurance claims data. This project will provide the first Australian evidence on the potential of easily implemented incentives for promoting physical activity, reducing sedentariness, and improving heart disease risk factors.