Research Study Abstract

Real-time Visual Activity Feedback For Physical Activity Improvement In Cancer Patients

  • Presented on June 1, 2013

Physical activity is becoming increasingly recognized as valuable to cancer patients during treatment and rehabilitation. Therefore strategies and measures to encourage patients to become more active and to achieve physical activity recommendations are of great importance.

Purpose The study evaluated an accelerometer based biofeedback device by measuring the change of physical activity of cancer patients and comparing the achieved activity level with that of age-matched healthy controls.

Methods Daily physical activity of 20 cancer patients (age: 60 ± 10 yrs., BMI: 23.4± 3.0 kg/m²) was measured within two consecutive weeks (≥10h on ≥4 days per week) using biaxial accelerometer (GT1M ActiGraph LLC, Pensacola Florida, USA). First week measures were defined as patients’ baseline activity level. For the second week patients were asked to wear an additional motion sensor with real-time visual feedback (Actismile). Visual feedback, symbolized by a smiley, indicated if participants achieved a pre-determined amount of physical activity throughout the day (3 bouts of 15 minutes each). Counts per minutes (cpm) and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were calculated and used for data analysis. Student t-tests were applied for comparison of repeated measures. In addition, patients’ second week data was compared to the physical activity level of 20 age-matched healthy controls (age: 57 ± 3 yrs., BMI: 26.9± 3.4 kg/m²).

Results Overall baseline physical activity of patients was lower compared to healthy controls (257 vs. 316 cpm; MVPA: 30 vs. 40 min./day). Following visual realtime feedback cancer patients demonstrated an average 18% increase in cpm (p=.001) and 25% in MVPA (p=.003).

Conclusions Physical activity levels obtained with real-time visual feedback in cancer patients became almost equal compared to age-matched healthy controls. Thus, the Actismile motion sensor seems feasible to alter patients’ physical activity behavior in everyday life. Future studies might focus on different activity thresholds, assess long term physical activity behavior change and address other target groups.


  • Lutz Vogt
  • Stefan Sperzel
  • Lars Gabrys
  • Marcus Bernhoerster
  • Winfried Banzer


  • J.W.Goethe-University Frankfurt, Frankfurt/ Main, Germany

Presented at

ACSM 2013 Annual Meeting


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