International Journal of Exercise Science 13(5): 979-995, 2020. Due to high interaction rates, smart devices are being utilized for mobile health (mHealth) interventions. Multimedia capabilities may be leveraged to improve mHealth exercise interventions. Our purpose was to explore individuals’ perceptions of multimedia exercise prompts tailored to their immediate mental/physical states. Using electronic surveys, respondents provided in-the-moment ratings of emotional state, energy, fatigue, physical discomfort, and thirst, with higher scores reflecting a higher “readiness to exercise” (i.e., if a person is currently in a pleasant mood with high energy and low discomfort, he/she is likely to have a greater capacity for a larger dose of exercise). They were then provided with an exercise prompt designed to match their readiness to exercise, demonstrated via text and graphic interchange format (GIF) showing a research member completing the recommended activity. Survey data regarding GIF quality, self-efficacy, and methodological feedback were then collected and analyzed using a combination of parametric statistics and thematic analysis of open-ended feedback. Respondents (N=204; 47±10 years; BMI 29±6 kg/m2) indicated GIFs loaded quickly (5.29±1.2, scale 0-6), were clear (5.36±1.1), and easily understandable (5.43±1.1). High task self-efficacy scores (9.34±1.62, scale 0-10) and statistically significant differences in coping self-efficacy (i.e., how well a person would be able to complete the recommended activity when feeling mentally/physically worse or better; F=3.229, p<.01) were found. Five themes relating to the exercise prompt were noted: improve attractiveness, limiting factors, exercise clarification, liked/understandable/doable, and disliked/unwilling to complete. Further refinement of these methods is warranted prior to using multimedia prompts to elicit actual exercise performance.

Supplemental GIF Presentation_12.13.19.pptx (118451 kB)
PowerPoint shows GIFs and corresponding text prompts described in the Methods section of our manuscript. Last edited 12-13-19