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Wearable Devices to Improve Physical Activity and Sleep: A Randomized Controlled Trial of College-Aged African American Women

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Journal of Black Studies

Published online on


This study examined the efficacy of the Jawbone UP platform for increasing physical activity and improving sleep quality among African American college women using a randomized controlled trial. Participants were college-aged (19.9 ± 1.7 years) African American women (N = 69) at a southeastern midsize university in United States. The trial began in September 2013 and concluded in February 2014. Each group received similar brief training to use the respective platforms and weekly emails encouraged regular continued engagement. There was a significant difference at the 8-week follow-up, such that the intervention group decreased step counts relative to the comparison app (9,378 vs. 11,287 steps; p = .02). For sleep, neither group demonstrated any changes in sleep duration, sleep onset latency, wakefulness after sleep onset, or sleep efficiency at the 6-week posttest or 8-week follow-up. This study found no evidence for initial efficacy as a stand-alone tool for increasing physical activity or improving sleep.