Using Mobile Health Tools to Assess Physical Activity Guideline Adherence and Smoking Urges: Secondary Analysis of mActive-Smoke

Rongzi Shan, Lisa R. Yanek, Luke G. Silverman-Lloyd, Sina Kianoush, Michael J. Blaha, Charles A. German, Garth N. Graha, Seth S. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Rates of cigarette smoking are decreasing because of public health initiatives, pharmacological AIDS, and clinician focus on smoking cessation. However, a sedentary lifestyle increases cardiovascular risk, and therefore, inactive smokers have a particularly enhanced risk of cardiovascular disease. Objective: In this secondary analysis of mActive-Smoke, a 12-week observational study, we investigated adherence to guideline-recommended moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in smokers and its association with the urge to smoke. Methods: We enrolled 60 active smokers (≥3 cigarettes per day) and recorded continuous step counts with the Fitbit Charge HR. MVPA was defined as a cadence of greater than or equal to 100 steps per minute. Participants were prompted to report instantaneous smoking urges via text message 3 times a day on a Likert scalefrom 1 to 9. We used a mixed effects linear model for repeated measures, controlling for demographics and baseline activity level, to investigate the association between MVPA and urge. Results: A total of 53 participants (mean age 40 [SD 12] years, 57% [30/53] women, 49% [26/53] nonwhite, and 38% [20/53] obese) recorded 6 to 12 weeks of data. Data from 3633 person-days were analyzed, with a mean of 69 days per participant. Among all participants, median daily MVPA was 6 min (IQR 2-13), which differed by sex (12 min [IQR 3-20] for men vs 3.5 min [IQR 1-9] for women; P=.004) and BMI (2.5 min [IQR 1-8.3] for obese vs 10 min [IQR 3-15] for nonobese; P=.04). The median total MVPA minutes per week was 80 (IQR 31-162). Only 10% (5/51; 95% CI 4% to 22%) of participants met national guidelines of 150 min per week of MVPA on at least 50% of weeks. Adjusted models showed no association between the number of MVPA minutes per day and mean daily smoking urge (P=.72). Conclusions: The prevalence of MVPA was low in adult smokers who rarely met national guidelines for MVPA. Given the poor physical activity attainment in smokers, more work is required to enhance physical activity in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14963
JournalJMIR Cardio
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Fitness trackers
  • Physical activity
  • Short message service
  • Smoking
  • mHealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Health Informatics


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