Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 18;19(8):4905. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19084905.
Physical inactivity and sedentary behavior (SB) have attracted growing attention globally since they relate to noninfectious chronic diseases (NCDs) and could further result in the loss of life. This systematic literature review aimed to identify existing evidence on the efficacy of mobile health (mHealth) technology in inducing physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior for physically inactive people. Studies were included if they used a smartphone app in an intervention to improve physical activity and/or sedentary behavior for physically inactive individuals. Interventions could be stand-alone interventions or multi-component interventions, including an app as one of several intervention components. A total of nine studies were included, and all were randomized controlled trials. Two studies involved interventions delivered solely via a mobile application (stand-alone intervention) and seven studies involved interventions that used apps and other intervention strategies (multi-component intervention). Methodological quality was assessed, and the overall quality of the studies was ensured. The pooled data favored intervention in improving physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior. This review provided evidence that mobile health intervention improved physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior among inactive individuals. More beneficial effects can be guaranteed when interventions include multiple components. Further studies that maintain the effectiveness of such interventions are required to maximize user engagement and intervention efficacy.