A Research Study about Increasing Physical Activity

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

What is the STEP Together study?

STEP Together is a research study about increasing physical activity among families in and around Philadelphia. The study is led by Drs. Karen Glanz and Ryan Greysen at the University of Pennsylvania and is funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Can I sign up for the study?

This study is at capacity and is no longer accepting new participants.

How long are participants in the study?

Participation in the study lasts for 18 months.

Couple running up stairs together outdoors

Does this study require in-person visits?

No. All study materials are mailed to participants, and study staff contact participants by phone, text, or email. There is also a study website used to complete some questionnaires and has information for participants.

How much time are participants expected to spend on study activities?

There are two kinds of study activities: those that involve completing surveys and the walking or physical activity participants do in the study. Participants complete surveys at the beginning of the study and after 6, 12, and 18 months. During the study, participants are encouraged to meet their daily step goals, and receive texts and email messages. Participants determine how much time they spend walking or doing other physical activity during the study. Participation in the study takes place across 18 months.

Who was able to join the study?

This study enrolled families who want to become more active. Each family team was required to have 2-10 members including at least one adult 60 years or older. Everyone in the family was required to live in the Philadelphia area and have a smartphone.

Who can be on a family team?

For this study, any of the following members of a family could enroll: grandparent, parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, spouse, unmarried or common-law partner, father- or mother-in-law, and son- or daughter-in-law. If participants did not have family in the Philadelphia area, they were able to enroll with a close friend or a group of close friends. Each family team was required to have 2 to 10 members and at least one adult 60 years or older. Everyone in the family was required to live in the Philadelphia area and have a smartphone.

If someone did not live in the Philadelphia area full-time, were they eligible to participate?

They may be eligible if they spend most of their time in the Philadelphia area.

What is the Philadelphia area?

Participants were eligible if they live within the following counties:

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania (city of Philadelphia)
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Chester County, Pennsylvania
Delaware County, Pennsylvania Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Burlington County, New Jersey
Camden County, New Jersey
Gloucester County, New Jersey
New Castle County, Delaware

What is a Fitbit?

What is a Fitbit? Fitbits are wearable devices that are worn on your wrist, like a watch. The Fitbit we are using for this study is used to track daily steps, heart rate, and sleep. People who signed up and were eligible to participate in STEP Together received a Fitbit device to use during the study. Participants who stay in the study for 18 months are able to keep the Fitbit after their time in the study ends.

How are steps tracked during the study?

How are steps tracked during the study? Steps are tracked by a Fitbit device as participants go about their daily activities. If you want to know how the Fitbit tracks step counts, please visit the link here: https://help.fitbit.com/articles/en_US/Help_article/1141.htm.

If I have questions about how my information will be used, who should I contact?

You can contact the study team at 215-746-1403 or email STEP-Together@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.

If a participant was already active, were they able to join the study?

STEP Together is a study for people who want to become more active. If participants already walk more than 5 miles a day on most days, this study was likely not a good fit for them.

If a participant’s family members were already active, were they able to join the study?

STEP Together is a study for people who want to become more active. If the family members walk more than 5 miles a day on most days, this study was likely not a good fit for them.

Could children participate in the STEP Together study?

Children who are 14 years of age or older who have a smartphone were able to join the STEP Together study.

How often does the study contact participants, and how do they do so?

Participants receive daily text messages from the study about their daily step goal. They also receive text and email messages when they reached certain milestones within the study. The study may contact participants by phone if participants have a question that’s best answered that way, or if the study has not heard from participants for a period of time.

Can I complete the surveys on the phone with the study team?

Yes, you can complete surveys on the phone if you prefer that to completing them online. Please contact the study team at 215-746-1403 or email STEP-Together@pennmedicine.upenn.edu to schedule a time to complete the surveys together.

Who can I contact for more information?

You can contact the study team at 215-746-1403 or email STEP-Together@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.

CONTACT THE STUDY TEAM