Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Interventions (or programs) to promote physical activity (PA) often fail to show long-term effects, and the suspicion is that PA behaviors need to become habits in order to be maintained. Recent research on habits indicates that habit formation may be facilitated by repeated and consistent environmental cues. The aim of this study is to test how well text messaging cues (SMS) do at getting people into the habit of doing PA in the workplace.

Who can participate?
Employees of the Française des Jeux compagnie that do not currently do any exercise, have medical clearance to start an exercise program and are able to attend a fitness center for a 60 minute session twice a week.

What does the study involve?
The employees are randomly allocated into one of two groups. Those in group 1 (PA group) take part in a 28 day supervised PA program. Those in group 2 (PA+SMS group) take part in the same program and are sent text messaging cues before their PA sessions. The exercise habits of each participant is assessed every week by the Self-Report Behavioral Habit Index using an online application.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Not provided at time of registration.

Where is the study run from?
Francaise des Jeux, Vitrolles (France)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
June 2013 to June 2015

Who is funding the study?
Société Diagana sport santé (Diagana sport santé company) and Fondation Française des Jeux (Fondation of Française des Jeux) (France)

Who is the main contact?
Mrs Marion Fournier

Trial website


Contact information



Primary contact

Mrs Marion Fournier


Contact details

261 route de grenoble

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Testing the effect of text messaging cues to promote physical activity habits: a worksite-based randomized controlled trial


Physical activity habits

Study hypothesis

To test the efficacy of text messaging cues (SMS) to promote physical activity (PA) habit formation in the workplace.

Ethics approval

Commission scientifique de la faculté des sciences du sport de l'Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis

Study design

Randomized controlled trial (RCT)

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised parallel trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet


We studied sedentary employees at their workplace.


1. Experimental: Physical activity + SMS group:
The group attended 2 sessions of supervised physical activity sessions and received 4 SMS per week.
All sessions were held at the same time of day (during lunch break) and on the same day of the week (Tuesday and Thursday). One session consisted of Nordic walking and the other consisted of circuit training. The session contents were individualized according to each individual's PA level using a heart rate monitor. The PA+SMS group received four text messages per week, always at the same time to favor cue consistency. For each session, one SMS was sent the evening before (7 pm) to remind and help the participants to plan their behavior
2. Active Comparator: Physical activity:
The physical activity group attended two one-hour PA sessions per week supervised by two professional PA instructors. One session consisted of Nordic walking and the other consisted of circuit training.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Primary Outcome Measure:
1. The strength of the PA habit was measured using the Self-Report Behavioural Automaticity Index (SRBAI)
Time Frame: from October 2013 to June 2014, assessed every week. Participants received an email every Thursday at 2 pm from the communication service of their company to ask them to complete the SRBAI for the behavior using an online survey-managing website. If they missed to report, they received another email to remind them on the following Monday at 2 pm. They provided their answers using a 10-point Likert scale, with higher scores indicating stronger habit strength.

Secondary outcome measures

Level of Physical activity using IPAQ (International Physical Activity Questionnaire). Time Frame: on October 2013, June 2014 and June 2015. Participants has to answer the IPAQ questionnaire by email three times to evaluate their physical activity level.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Be employee of the Française des Jeux compagnie
2. Not be involved in any exercise training
3. Have a medical clearance to start an exercise program
4. Have the ability to attend the fitness center for a 60-min session twice a week

Participant type

Healthy volunteer

Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

Being active according to the IPAQ

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Francaise des Jeux
297 Route de la Seds

Sponsor information


Laboratoire motricité humaine et sport santé

Sponsor details

261 route de grenoble
04 92 29 65 00

Sponsor type

Research organisation



Funder type


Funder name

Société Diagana sport santé (Diagana sport santé company)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Funder name

Fondation Française des Jeux (Fondation of Française des Jeux)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Primary goal is to publish a scientific paper on the effects of the intervention on habits formation. A secondary paper on the effect of the physical activity programme on physical and psychological measures can also be envisaged.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Available on request

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

20/10/2016: internal review.