Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Despite the health benefits, physical activity levels among adults in Jordan are low. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a behavioural intervention could increase physical activity levels, reduce body mass index (BMI) and increase confidence in maintaining physical activity among students in universities in Jordan.
Who can participate?
University students in Jordan who are physically able to do moderate exercise
What does the study involve?
The participants will be allocated to one of two groups. One group will receive three educational lectures on the benefits of exercise, potential barriers to increasing physical activity and suggestions on how to change their behaviour to involve more physical activity. The other group will have a face-to-face consultation with individualised suggestions on how they could increase their physical activity. They will also receive 12 calls and regular text messages to encourage them to move more and have access to a Facebook page with tips and motivational messages.
All participants will wear a pedometer for 6 months to count their daily steps. They will also have their blood pressure, height and weight measured before and after the 6-month intervention period, and will fill out questionnaires on their physical activity levels and confidence in exercising at these times.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants might benefit from the education and encouragement to increase their physical activity. There were no additional risks of participation.
Where is the study run from?
Philadelphia University (Jordan)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
December 2015 to September 2016
Who is funding the study?
Philadelphia University (Jordan)
Who is the main contact?
Dr Eman Alsaleh, email@example.com
Dr Eman Alsaleh
A randomised controlled trial investigating the efficacy of a behavioural-based web and phone intervention to increase physical activity among university students in Jordan
A behavioural intervention that consists of multiple components such as goal-setting, self-monitoring and feedback in a combination of effective delivery systems based on mobile and Facebook motivates students to increase their physical activity levels.
Approved November 2016, Ethical board at Philadelphia University (Deanship of Scientific Research and Graduate Studies, Jerash Rd, Amman 19392, Jordan; +962 6 4799 000 Ext. 2366 or 2376; firstname.lastname@example.org), no reference number
Two-arm single-centre randomized controlled trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Patient information sheet
A participant information sheet was given to the participants before the study period. This sheet is not available in web format.
Physical activity in university students
The study is two-group single-centre randomised controlled trial (n=150) in which a behavioural intervention was compared with usual care in increasing physical activity levels among healthy students in one Jordanian University. The participants were randomly allocated to the two groups (the control and intervention group) by opening opaque sealed sequence envelopes according to the participant’s numbers, which contained the name of the group.
The intervention consisted of delivering behavioural strategies by a single face-to-face individualised consultation with the researcher and six telephone call consultations (one call each month) supplemented by motivational SMS text messages reminders (one SMS weekly). The tailored consultation aimed to help participants to integrate moderate physical activity into their daily routine by performing brisk walking of 30 min daily for a minimum of 5 days per week or at least 10,000 steps per day using a bracelet pedometer to count their steps. In addition, the participants were contacted by a Facebook page (Let's walk) that aimed to deliver a motivational tips and advice to increase their physical activity levels.
The educational sessions were provided as three scheduled educational lectures about the benefits of physical activity, potential barriers to physical activity and using behavioral change strategies to increase physical activity levels. The duration of each educational lecture was 1 h. The lectures were given at the first month, the third month and the fifth month.
Primary outcome measure
1. Steps per day measured using a bracelet pedometer worn by the participants around their wrists during the day. This bracelet pedometer measured individuals’ steps per day. The international recommendation for steps per day is 10,000-step/ day to achieve the international recommendations of 30 minutes of brisk walking per day.
2. Frequency of walking assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) at baseline and 6 months
3. Duration of walking assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) at baseline and 6 months
4. Frequency of walking assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) at baseline and 6 months
Secondary outcome measures
1. Blood pressure was measured by the researchers using automated electronic blood pressure monitor. To ensure consistency with this device, blood pressures of the participants was measured by the same BP monitor at baseline and at 6 months. Blood pressure was measured based on the criteria of measuring blood pressure determined by the American Heart Association, the British Hypertension Society and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
2. Body mass index calculated from height and weight. Body weight was measured with the same device at baseline and 6 months. Height was measured at baseline only.
3. Exercise self-efficacy assessed using the Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale (ESES) at baseline and 6 months. The scale was administered to identify the extent of the confidence of the subjects in performing the required levels of physical activity (regular moderate physical activity of 30 min 5 days a week) at a criterion level in specific situations by rating the level of their confidence.
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Students of any subject at Philadelphia University
2. No medical condition that prevents them from doing moderate physical activity such as brisk walking
Target number of participants
Total final enrolment
Participant exclusion criteria
Illness or health conditions that prevent them from participating in physical activity
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
This study will be published in an international journal within 5 months.
IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study will be available upon request from the author (Dr Eman Alsaleh, email address: email@example.com). The data includes the intervention components and materials such as the consultations contents and the motivational tips and messages. These data can be obtained by sending a request by email after the results have been published in a journal.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Available on request
Basic results (scientific)