This grant supports a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the impact of the Zamzee intervention on raising everyday physical activity levels among "tweens" (11 through 14 year olds) at high risk for childhood obesity. HopeLab's Zamzee intervention (originally named "gDitty"), is built on an engaging, tween-centered online experience and an activity meter that tracks physical activity. Tween users upload accelerometer data to the Zamzee Web site, where their real-world physical activity affords them an enhanced online experience and access to individualized incentives and rewards to sustain engagement and motivate heightened physical activity levels over time. Promising pilot studies demonstrated that the precursor device (gDitty) and Web site experience increased tweens' levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity by 30 percent, equivalent to roughly one-third of the daily average "energy gap" of 150 calories for U.S. youths. Replicating these results in a larger RCT, using a refined accelerometer device and improved Web site, will provide the evidence needed to support spreading Zamzee use via leveraged private- and public-sector partnerships to tweens at highest risk for sedentary behavior. Project deliverables will include (1) completion of an RCT evaluating Zamzee's impact on physical activity and related health outcomes over three months; (2) development of a manuscript for peer-reviewed publications; and (3) the dissemination of findings to potential distribution partners and key policy makers -- along with general guidelines for using consumer-centered processes to create fun, engaging products that can demonstrably improve children's health behaviors.
Amount Awarded $450,000.00
Awarded on: 11/10/2010
Time frame: 12/15/2010 - 3/31/2012
Grant Number: 67496