Effect of a structured follow-up of new members at a fitness center on attendance frequency : A double blinded randomized controlled trial
MetadataShow full item record
Background Sedentary life style remains a common problem in industrialized countries all over the world. At the same time, more and more people becomes members of a fitness center. There is a lack of studies that investigate the effect of interventions to increase the physical activity for members at fitness centers by increasing their use of the services offered at fitness centers. E-mail and telephone-delivered interventions have such a potential. Purpose The purpose was to investigate the effect of a structured follow-up program on how new members' use a fitness center compared to new members with no structured follow-up. We hypothesize that a structured follow-up on new members will increase the attendance frequency at the fitness centers. Methods This was a participant and provider blinded parallel group randomized controlled trial. Participants (n = 350) were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n = 172) or a control group (n = 178). The intervention group received two telephone calls and one e-mail that contained information that intended to motivate the intervention group to increase their attendance frequency and bookings at the fitness center. The control group received no structured follow-up. The primary outcome was attendance frequency (days with visits) and the secondary outcomes were booking of individual guidance, individual follow-up and group activities. Results/discussion The intervention group had a higher probability to book individual guidance (risk ratio 2.79; 95 % CI 2.06 to 3.78), follow-ups (risk ratio 4.14; CI 1.99 to 8.60) and group activity (risk ratio 1.85; CI 1.25 to 2.74). However, the intervention had no effect on the attendance frequency (risk ratio 0.93; CI 0.79 to 1.09) at the fitness centers among participants in the intervention group compared to participants in the control group. Conclusion: A structured follow-up of new members at a fitness center did not give an increased attendance frequency among new members at a fitness center. However, it resulted in an increase in the number of members who booked individual guidance and in the total number of booked individual guidance, follow-ups and group activity among the intervention group.