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Using Real-Time Data Capture to Examine Affective Mechanisms as Meditators of Physical Activity Adherence in Interventions 


Our goal is to gain a better understanding of how to design long-lasting and effective physical activity programs. Your participation may help us learn how to promote physical activity in adults at risk for preventable cancers.

Purpose of the study

To test a self-guided physical activity program delivered through text messages and a Fitbit smartwatch. We will also examine how emotional factors can influence physical activity.

Overview of the study

Your participation in this study will last about 5 months.

You will be given a physical activity prescription and daily physical activity goals to follow.

Other procedures will include:

• remotely attending a video orientation session

• wearing a Fitbit Versa smartwatch on your wrist

• completing short check-ins on your smartwatch every evening and during physical activity

• completing online questionnaires and an exit interview.


What to expect


Online Questionnaires

Participants are selected on a rolling basis. If selected, you will schedule an online meeting with a researcher to discuss participation in the study and sign a consent form. If interested, you will then schedule an online orientation meeting to get set up on the study.

Questionnaires will be sent out at the beginning, middle and end of the study.

Physical Activity Prescription and Goals

Wearing the Fitbit Smartwatch

You will be given a physical activity prescription at the beginning of the study. You will be asked to plan physical activity at the start of each week, and morning/evening goals will be texted to you to help achieve that physical activity for the day.

We will ask you to wear a Fitbit smartwatch to keep track of your physical activity and report your emotions.  


You may be eligible if you...


  • Are 18 years or older
  • Have a personal smartphone
  • Live in the United States 
  • Can speak and read in English
  • Meet our other eligibility criteria
  • Discover new physical activities and increase your physical activity level
  • Learn about your own personal fitness and health
  • Earn up to $500 for participating. To receive full compensation, participants must wear the smartwatch every day while awake and asleep, and must answer all surveys on the smartwatch for the duration of the study.
  • Keep the Fitbit smartwatch watch upon successful completion of all the study procedures


How long will I be participating in the study?

Sending the Fitbit smartwatch and scheduling the orientation can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks, and the study itself will last about 5 months after that.

Will there be any in-person meetings?

Nope! Everything will be conducted online (Zoom). Any additional questions or concerns will be addressed by email as well.

Can I leave the study once I have started?

Yes, participation is entirely voluntary, and participants may leave whenever they would like.

What smartwatch will be used?

This study will be using the Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatch, which you will be able to  keep upon successful completion of all the study procedures.

What if I already have a smartwatch?

We ask that you not wear your personal smartwatch for the duration of the 5-month study. The Fitbit smartwatch that we provide you will need to be worn on your non-dominant wrist throughout the study.

How much compensation will I receive for participating in the study?

Overall, you may receive up to $450 for wearing the Fitbit smartwatch and answering Fitbit smartwatch surveys (check-ins). You will receive an additional $50 for completing the online questionnaires at the beginning, middle, and end of the study.
The total possible compensation is up to $500, and you can keep the Fitbit smartwatch after successfully  completing of the study

Can I tell other people about this study?

Of course! You are welcome to share our study with friends, family, or others who may be interested and eligible to participate!

What happens to my personal information?

  • Your data will be stored on secure computers and servers.
  • Any data collected throughout the study will not be connected to your personal information.



  • Technological issues
  • Smartwatch set-up
  • Time commitment
Contact us at via email or phone number:

Email: reachlab@usc.edu

Phone Number: (323) 419-1849
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The Real-Time Eating Activity and Children’s Health (REACH) Lab at the University of Southern California is an interdisciplinary group of researchers and students led by Dr. Genevieve Dunton.

Our mission is to use current technologies such as smartphones and smartwatches to gather data and analyze the relationship between physical activity and emotional or environmental factors.

Visit our website for more on the eMOTION Study and the REACH Lab: reach.usc.edu/emotion