Background: Many adults are insufficiently physically active, have prolonged sedentary behaviour and report poor sleep. These behaviours can be improved by interventions that include education, goal setting, self-monitoring, and feedback strategies. Few interventions have explicitly targeted these behaviours simultaneously or examined the relative efficacy of different self-monitoring methods.
Methods/Design: This study aims to compare the efficacy of two self-monitoring methods in an app-based multi-behaviour intervention to improve objectively measured physical activity, sedentary, and sleep behaviours, in a 9 week 2-arm randomised trial. Participants will be adults (n = 64) who report being physically inactive, sitting >8 h/day and frequent insufficient sleep (≥14 days out of last 30). The "Balanced" intervention is delivered via a smartphone 'app', and includes education materials (guidelines, strategies to promote change in behaviour), goal setting, self-monitoring and feedback support. Participants will be randomly allocated to either a device-entered or user-entered self-monitoring method. The device-entered group will be provided with a activity tracker to self-monitor behaviours. The user-entered group will recall and manually record behaviours. Assessments will be conducted at 0, 3, 6, and 9 weeks. Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep-wake behaviours will be measured using the wrist worn Geneactiv accelerometer. Linear mixed models will be used to examine differences between groups and over time using an alpha of 0.01.
Discussion: This study will evaluate an app-based multi-behavioural intervention to improve physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep; and the relative efficacy of two different approaches to self-monitoring these behaviours. Outcomes will provide information to inform future interventions and self-monitoring targeting these behaviours.
Trial registration: ACTRN12615000182594 (Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. Registry URL: www.anzctr.org.au; registered prospectively on 25 February 2015).