Peer Network-based Design-led Intervention Study to Reduce Adolescent’s Sedentary Behavior and Promote Exercise

DURATION 2022.03-2022.07
ROLE Ideation, Data Collection & Analysis
COLLABORATORS Child & Family Experts
SUBJECTS Adolescents (Middle School Students)
METHODS Survey, Online focus Interview, Home User Test

BACKGROUND. This study addresses the concerning trend of increased sedentary behavior and decreased physical activity among Korean adolescents, potentially leading to health problems. Prior research has shown a gap in designing and analyzing interventions for this age group based on theoretical frameworks that integrate the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and Self-Determination Theory (SDT).

RESEARCH PURPOSE. This study aims to bridge this gap by developing and analyzing an intervention based on this integrated framework to promote physical activity in adolescents.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS. What intervention design, based on a combined TPB-SDT framework, can effectively promote physical activity in children? What is the impact of the developed intervention on promoting physical activity in this population?

RESEARCH APPROACH. A survey of 113 middle school students, along with online focus group interviews with seven students from the first and second grades, revealed key challenges contributing to the lack of exercise: Limited time, Excessive media use, and a Lack of opportunities for outdoor peer interaction.

Intervention: Intervention: Peer Network Exercise Diary. This intervention is a peer network exercise diary grounded in TPB-SDT principles. Users can log the type, intensity, duration, and post-exercise feelings in a fun interface. The diary facilitates sharing these logs with peers and offering supportive feedback. Fun elements aim to enhance the enjoyment of exercise recording, fostering a more positive perception of physical activity. Peer interaction allows users to gain insights into their peers’ exercise routines and social support regarding their own behavior.

METHODS. A two-week Home User Test with three third-year middle school girls employed a qualitative approach, revealing positive changes in exercise attitudes (measured through pre- and post-surveys with questionnaires based on Ajzen (1991)’s Theory of Planned Behavior) and exploring participants’ experiences with the diary and their overall satisfaction through semi-structured interviews.

RESULTS. The peer network exercise diary demonstrated positive changes in all measured aspects: attitudes towards exercise (attitude), perceived social support for exercise behavior (subjective norm), and self-efficacy (perceived behavioral control). Notably, the most significant improvements were observed in attitudes and perceived social support. However, the study acknowledged limitations regarding time constraints and physical barriers that may hinder long-term adherence.

IMPACT. This research contributes to the field by offering a novel intervention design and has been published in the journal of The Korean Society of Living Environmental System.