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Title: Follow Your Virtual Trainer (FYVT): a randomised controlled trial protocol of IT-based lifestyle intervention programme to promote physical activity and health among middle-aged Hong Kong Chinese
Authors: Hui, SSC
Xie, YJ 
Kwok, RCW
Tam, EWC 
Mak, WWS
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
Source: BMJ open, May 2018, v. 8, no. 2, e017908, p. 1-9 How to cite?
Journal: BMJ open 
Abstract: Introduction Hong Kong is a highly urbanised city where many people work long hours. The limited time and lack of professional instruction are the typical barriers to exercise. The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of an information technology-based lifestyle intervention programme on improving physical activity (PA) level and health status in a sample of middle-aged Hong Kong adults.
Methods and analysis A two-arm parallel randomised controlled trial named 'Follow Your Virtual Trainer' will be conducted among 200 physically inactive Chinese adults aged from 40 to 65 years. Those randomly allocated to an intervention group will be under the instruction of a web-based computer software termed `Virtual Trainer (VT)' to conduct a 3-month self-planned PA programme. A series of online seminars with healthy lifestyle information will be released to the participants biweekly for 3 months. After that, 6 months observation will follow. Those in the control group will only receive a written advice of standard PA recommendation and the textual content of the seminars. The assessments will be implemented at baseline, the 3rd, 6th and 9th months. The primary outcome is PA measured by accelerometer and International Physical Activity Questionnaire. The secondary outcomes include cardiorespiratory fitness, resting energy expenditure, anthropometrics, body composition, blood pressure, health-related quality of life, sleep quality and quantity, fatigue, behaviour mediators and maintenance of PA. The main effectiveness of the intervention will be assessed by a linear mixed model that tests the random effect of treatment on outcomes at the 3rd, 6th and 9th months.
Ethics and dissemination This trial has been approved by the Joint Chinese University of Hong Kong-New Territories East Cluster Clinical Research Ethics Committee (CRE 2015235). The study results will be presented at scientific conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.
EISSN: 2044-6055
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017908
Rights: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
The following publication Hui, S. S. C., Xie, Y. J., Kwok, R. C. W., Tam, E. W. C., Mak, W. W. S., & Mo, P. K. H. (2018). Follow Your Virtual Trainer (FYVT): a randomised controlled trial protocol of IT-based lifestyle intervention programme to promote physical activity and health among middle-aged Hong Kong Chinese. BMJ open, 8(2), e017908, 1-9 is available at
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