Smart wearable devices as a psychological intervention for healthy lifestyle and quality of life: a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Purpose: Creating a healthy lifestyle is important across different life stages. Commercial smart wearable devices are an innovative and interesting approach as an early psychological intervention for modifying health-related behaviors. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the effects of smart wearable devices on health-promoting lifestyles and quality of life. Methods: The study design was a three-parallel randomized controlled trial with a 3-month intervention. Two commercial smart wearable devices (smartwatches and smart bracelets) with different levels of complicated functions were applied as a psychological intervention in comparison with a smartphone app as the control group. Participants were healthy young adults with a median age of 26 years. Outcome measurements were conducted by self-administered questionnaires. Chi-square tests and ANOVA were performed for testing the difference of participants at baseline, and generalized estimating equations were performed for testing the effect of the intervention. Results: At the beginning, 81 participants were recruited and 73 participants completed the study. Results of a healthy lifestyle demonstrated significant group effects of exercise and a significant effect of the interaction for self-actualization and stress management in the experimental group with a smartwatch (Self-actualization: MD = 0.35[− 0.10,0.80]; Exercise: MD = 0.21[− 0.33 0.75]; Stress management: MD = 0.36[− 0.04,0.76]) by comparing with only using mobile app (Self-actualization: MD = − 0.03[− 0.25,0.18]; Exercise: MD = − 0.12[− 0.38,0.14]; Stress management, MD = − 0.28[− 0.55,0.00]). The significant effect of group-by-time interaction for self-actualization was found in the experimental group with a smart bracelet (MD = 0.05[− 0.30,0.20]) by comparing with the control group. The GEE-adjusted model indicated significant effects of the interaction on the comprehensive, physical, and mental quality of life in the experimental group with the smartwatch (Comprehensive: MD = 0.24[− 0.04,0.52]; Physical: MD = 0.67[0.26,1.09]; Mental: MD = 0.72[0.29,1.16]) by comparing with the control group (Comprehensive: MD = − 1.57[− 2.55, − 0.59]; Physical: MD = 0.25[0.00,0.50]; Mental: MD = 0.08[− 0.11,0.27]). Conclusion: From a psychological perspective, smart wearable devices have potential benefits of shaping a healthy lifestyle and improving the quality of life. Enhancing the utility of commercial well-designed smart wearable devices is an innovative and effective strategy for promoting public health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQuality of Life Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Health behavior
  • Mobile health
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Stress management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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