The evaluation of a web-based physical activity intervention in a predominantly Hispanic college population

Dejan Magoc, University of Texas at El Paso


The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggest at least 30 min of moderate physical activity at least 5 days a week or 20 min of vigorous physical activity at least 3 days a week. The overall aim of this experiment was to evaluate the efficacy of a web-based intervention – one that relied on existing, easy-to-use course technology – to increase days of weekly physical activity among predominantly Hispanic college students attending a large Southwest University. The principal hypothesis was that the intervention would significantly increase days of physical activity among those participating in the intervention group. This study also examined the presumed mediators of PA behavioral change using constructs derived from Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). It was expected that positive change in presumed mediators, including self-regulation, self-efficacy, social support, and outcome expectations and expectancies would mediate changes in days of PA. One hundred four participants were randomly assigned to either an intervention or a control group. The intervention group participated in a 6-week web-based physical activity program. During this time, they received a total of seven learning lessons based on SCT constructs. The control group did not participate in any learning activities about physical activity and fitness. Instead, they received, web-based, very basic information on physical activity (e.g., the importance of PA). Results of multivariate, univariate, and stepdown analyses for the Treatment Group by Time interaction showed the intervention to increase both moderate and vigorous days of physical activity. Similar multivariate, univariate, and stepdown tests of the SCT constructs did not show the intervention to predictably impact the SCT variables. Overall, the present study found support for the notion that a theory- web-based intervention could successfully increase days of moderate and vigorous physical activity across a 6-week intervention period, relative to a non-theory based control condition. The study failed to find strong support, however, that changes in SCT constructs such as self-efficacy or ability to make plans accounted for such changes.^

Subject Area

Education, Physical|Education, Health|Education, Technology of|Hispanic American Studies

Recommended Citation

Magoc, Dejan, "The evaluation of a web-based physical activity intervention in a predominantly Hispanic college population" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3390616.