Texting Older Sisters to Step to Manage Obesity in Older Black Women: A Feasibility Study

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Black women are disproportionately classified as overweight or obese and physically inactive. Social support and culturally relevant and age-appropriate physical active interventions are needed to reduce inactivity and to prevent weight gain among this group. Mobile-health text messages have shown to be an acceptable, feasible and interactive way to promote physical activity among older Black women. Study Design: This feasibility, 12-week RCT, deployed between August 2020 and December 2020, aimed to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of a mobile health intervention that focused on increasing physical activity behaviors among community-dwelling, older Black women who were age ≥60 years and classified with overweight or obesity. Setting/participants: Community-dwelling, older Black women. Intervention: The intervention group received physical activity promotion text messages daily, whereas the control group received 1 neutral message related to general health information weekly. Measures: At baseline and post intervention assessments, researchers obtained HbA1c levels, weight, BMI, waist circumference, and questionnaires related to physical activity. Post-intervention satisfaction was also collected through a survey. Results: The intervention group had an average increase of approximately 700 steps per day more than the control group, lost more waist circumference inches (2.2) than the controls, and averaged more pound loss (2.5) than controls. The control group had a greater HbA1c reduction, whereas the intervention group remained stable. The text messages were 100% readable, and 95% of the women stated the study was motivational. Overall, 12% of participants suggested that future studies should include more in-person social support, and 8.3% said that daily text messages were too much. Conclusions: Findings suggest that a mobile health physical activity intervention that uses self-monitoring techniques in conjunction with motivational cues, is an acceptable delivery method and a promising strategy to increase physical activity behaviors among this population, which is feasible, potentially efficacious, and low cost. Trial Registration: NCT04114071.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bowen PG; Affuso O; Opoku-Agyeman W; Mixon VR; Clay OJ
  • Start Page

  • S56
  • End Page

  • S66
  • Volume

  • 63
  • Issue

  • 1