Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Harry Prapavessis


Sedentary behaviour (SB) has been linked to many health problems (e.g., type 2 diabetes, heart disease). Interventions aimed at office workers, overweight and obese individuals have proven successful in reducing SB; however, no studies have examined university students. Text message-based interventions have succeeded to aid in smoking cessation and increase both physical activity and healthy eating, but have not been shown to reduce SB. Eighty-two university students were randomized into intervention (SB related text messages) or control (text messages unrelated to SB) groups. Participants received daily text messages and reported various SBs (i.e., breaks from sitting, standing, light and moderate intensity physical activity) at four time points (baseline, 2, 4 and 6 weeks). Small to moderate effects that either approached or did not reach significance were found that consistently favored the intervention group for all SB measures. Findings suggest text messages have the potential to reduce SB in university students.