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.

How do I sign up for the study?

You can see if you’re eligible and sign up for the study by visiting this link. If you prefer to enroll by phone, call 215-746-1403 or email STEP-Together@pennmedicine.upenn.edu and a member of our study team will complete the process with you by phone.

How long will I be in the study?

If you are eligible and decide to join the study, your participation will last for 18 months.

Couple running up stairs together outdoors

Does this study require in-person visits?

No. All study materials will be mailed to you, and study staff will contact you by phone, text, or email. There is also a study website that you will use to complete some questionnaires and that will have information for you.

How much time will I be expected to spend on study activities?

There are two kinds of study activities: those that involve completing surveys, and the walking or physical activity that we’re hoping you will do because you are 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. Your participation in the study takes place across 18 months.

Who can join the study?

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

  • If you have questions about your eligibility, you can contact the study team by phone at 215-746-1403 
  • or email STEP-Together@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
  • Or go to this link to answer some questions to see if you are eligible and sign up.

Who can be on my family team?

For this study, you can be on a family team with any of the following members of your family: 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 you do not have family in the Philadelphia area, you may be eligible to enroll with a close friend or a group of close friends.

Each family team must have 2 to 10 members and at least one adult 60 years or older. Everyone in the family must live in the Philadelphia area and have a smartphone.

I do not live in the Philadelphia area full-time. Am I eligible to participate?

You may be eligible if you spend most of your time in Philadelphia area. Please contact the study team at 215-746-1403 or email STEP-Together@pennmedicine.upenn.edu to discuss your situation.

What is the Philadelphia area?

You and your family are eligible if you 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
New Castle County, Delaware

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 will be used to track daily steps, heart rate, and sleep.

People who sign up and are eligible to participate in STEP Together will receive a Fitbit device to use during the study. Participants who stay in the study for 18 months will be able to keep the Fitbit after their time in the study ends.

How are my steps tracked during the study?

Your steps will be tracked by a Fitbit device as you go about your 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.

Can I use my own Fitbit device during the study?

No, you cannot use your own Fitbit (or other device) for the study. You will receive a Fitbit from the study to use during the entire study period. This won’t prevent you from also using your own device if you are happy to have more than one gadget!

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.

I’m already active, can I join the study?

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

My family members are already active, can I invite them to join the study?

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

Many different types of family members can join this study together, so consider inviting other people from your family who are not already active!

Can my child participate in the STEP Together study?

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

You or your child can check your child’s eligibility and sign up HERE. If your child is eligible, you will need to provide consent for them to participate. Your child will also need to agree to participate.

Your child can participate in STEP Together even if you are not participating.

How often will the study contact me, and how will they do so?

You will receive daily text messages from the study about your daily step goal. You will also receive text and email messages when you reach certain milestones within the study. We may contact you by phone if you have a question that’s best answered that way, or if we haven’t heard from you 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