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Little change over the decades has been seen in adults meeting moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) guidelines. Numerous individual-level interventions to increase MVPA have been designed, mostly static interventions without consideration for neighborhood context. Recent technologies make adaptive interventions for MVPA feasible. Unlike static interventions, adaptive intervention components (e.g., goal setting) adjust frequently to an individual's performance. Such technologies also allow for more precise delivery of “smaller, sooner incentives” that may result in greater MVPA than “larger, later incentives”. Combined, these factors could enhance MVPA adoption. Additionally, a central tenet of ecological models is that MVPA is sensitive to neighborhood environment design; lower-walkable neighborhoods constrain MVPA adoption and maintenance, limiting the effects of individual-level interventions. Higher-walkable neighborhoods are hypothesized to enhance MVPA interventions. Few prospective studies have addressed this premise. This report describes the rationale, design, intervention components, and baseline sample of a study testing individual-level adaptive goal-setting and incentive interventions for MVPA adoption and maintenance over 2 years among adults from neighborhoods known to vary in neighborhood walkability. We scaled these evidenced-based interventions and tested them against static-goal-setting and delayed-incentive comparisons in a 2 × 2 factorial randomized trial to increase MVPA among 512 healthy insufficiently-active adults. Participants (64.3% female, M age = 45.5 ± 9.1 years, M BMI = 33.9 ± 7.3 kg/m2, 18.8% Hispanic, 84.0% White) were recruited from May 2016 to May 2018 from block groups ranked on GIS-measured neighborhood walkability and socioeconomic status (SES) and classified into four neighborhood types: “high walkable/high SES,” “high walkable/low SES,” “low walkable/high SES,” and “low walkable/low SES.” Results from this ongoing study will provide evidence for some of the central research questions of ecological models.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Contemporary Clinical Trials. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Contemporary Clinical Trials, volume 81, in 2019.

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