Thursday, October 4, 2012

Can Kids Be Motivated to Move More? Zamzee Kids Moved 60% More! (Study)

Kids who got access to the Zamzee website moved 59% more on average than kids in the control group, who did not get access to the website.

I guess that answers the questions to whether or not a device and access to a new website could get kids to move more.

Now I've been a huge fan of HopeLab for almost 5 years since being introduced to Re-Mission through Ellen and Richard at GFH 2008 or 2009. Keeping up with their product development and trials for Zamzee has been great - even a little cloak and daggerish at times:)

As you've already read, kids who received the Zamzee accelerometer and had access to an innovative website, increased their moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) 59% above the control group that only received the Zamzee.

Below is a picture I took at the 2011 GFH conference where they provided us an update on Zamzee's product development and trial early results.

Besides the great news about the increase in MVPA, and other biological markers -  I think its great that the Zamzee group achieved CDC-recommended 60 min MVPA/day at a rate 4.5 times that of controls.

Points to Ponder (P2P)
  • My only question is the statistic the use (3.1% ± 0.3% of days vs. 0.7% ± 0.4%; p < .0001) sounds quite low - should it be days and not percent (3.1 ± 0.3 days vs. 0.7 ± 0.4; p < .0001)?
Kudos to HopeLab, their partners, and all the participants for such encouraging results about how to improve the health of young people.

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies.


Motivating Physical Activity in Tweens: The Zamzee Randomized Controlled Trial and Biomarker Study

Nicole Guthrie, Fred Dillon, Jana Haritatos, and Steve Cole
HopeLab Foundation, 1991 Broadway St. Suite 136, Redwood City CA 94063

This presentation will report results from the Zamzee Impact Trial – a randomized controlled trial of the Zamzee accelerometer /motivational website system in 448 11-14-year-old adolescents recruited from 6 urban, suburban, and rural US middle schools. Zamzee combines individualized feedback, progress monitoring and goal setting, tangible incentives, and intrinsic motivation features to promote long-term increase in physical activity as measured by a 3-axis accelerometer system with automated upload to a central database. In this study, control participants received Zamzee activity monitors that uploaded data but had no access to the motivational intervention website. 186 individuals enrolled in a biomarker sub-study involving pre- and post-study blood sampling. Primary outcomes were accelerometer-based measures of weekly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) assessed  continuously over 6 months. Compared to controls, the Zamzee group showed an average 59% higher rate of MVPA (mean = 118 min/week ± SE 3 vs. 74 ± 5 for controls; p < .0001) throughout the 6-onth study, with no decrement in difference over time (no Group x Week interaction, p = .9415). These effects correspond to approximately 1,120 min MVPA and  8,800 kcal expended per participant over 6 months. The Zamzee group achieved CDC-recommended 60 min MVPA/day at a rate 4.5 times that of controls (3.1% ± 0.3% of days vs. 0.7% ± 0.4%; p < .0001). Within the biomarker sub-study, the Zamzee group showed more favorable pre- to post-study changes in LDL cholesterol (+0.3 ± 1.4 mg/dL vs. +5.1 ±1.6; p = .034), total cholesterol (+0.2 ± 1.5 mg/dL vs. +4.7 ± 1.7; p = .057), and, in protocol-adherent participants, HbA1c (-0.08% ± 0.03% vs. +0.08% ± 0.05%; p = .012). Non-significant effects were observed for CRP (-0.01 ± 0.06 mg/L vs. +0.53 ± 0.06; p = .322) and BMI (+0.34 ± 0.07 kg/m2 vs. +0.37 ±0.06; p = .781). The Zamzee activity meter/motivational website system can consistently increase MVPA over 6 months in middle school-aged children, with favorable effects on blood lipid and metabolic parameters. Identifier: NCT01433679.

About HopeLab
HopeLab is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by Board Chair Pam Omidyar. HopeLab harnesses the power and appeal of technology to improve the health of young people. HopeLab applies a research-based, customer-focused development model to create products that positively impact health behavior. HopeLab is part of the Omidyar Group philanthropic enterprises. For more information, please visit

About Zamzee
Zamzee is a social enterprise on a mission to make it easier for tweens and families to be more physically active. The Zamzee meter and motivational website is the result of several years of research and design based on feedback from kids and families. The Zamzee meter is sold for $29.95; access to the Zamzee website is free of charge. Zamzee was established in 2010 by HopeLab, a nonprofit research organization that uses the power and appeal of technology to improve the health of kids. Initial research and development of Zamzee was conducted by HopeLab, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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