Shanelle Reyes and Dr. Sonsoles de Lacalle
Engaging in regular physical activity has been shown to have many health benefits. This includes reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Despite the various health benefits, a majority of the population (including children and adolescents) do not get the recommended amount of physical activity. This presents a significant public health concern. This highlights the importance of finding new and effective interventions to help promote physical activity. In today’s digital era, digital interventions like mobile devices and mobile applications present a promising approach to help promote physical activity. Although the market is saturated with fitness apps, there is limited data on their effectiveness. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of using mobile applications to promote physical activity in children and adolescents. A literature review was conducted to analyze the existing evidence regarding the effectiveness of mobile applications in promoting physical activity. The review includes qualitative and quantitative data collected from mixed methods of randomized and controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analysis. Studies with a focus on mobile app features (e.g., social factors and gamification) were also included to help determine their effectiveness within mobile apps to engage users and promote physical activity. This study will help support the current evidence that mobile apps have a promising potential to increase physical activity and help determine the need and direction for future research.