An accumulated activity effective index for promoting physical activity: A design and development study in a mobile and pervasive health context

Chung Tse Liu, Chia Tai Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Increased physical activity has become a principal personal health goal worldwide because sufficient physical activity can reduce the risk of many adverse conditions. Motivating individuals to increase their levels of physical activity can increase life expectancy and contribute to a healthy life. Sharing and comparison of physical activity information by using the Internet, with fewer privacy concerns, might also help encourage people to promote and maintain sufficient physical activity. To promote and manage physical activity, an accumulated activity effective index (AAEI) is proposed in this paper. Objective: The purpose of the AAEI design is to maintain and promote physical activity. The public can easily accept a clear indicator that reveals the current status of physical activity. The AAEI is not only an assessment and tracking tool for personal physical activity, but is also useful for goal setting and for sharing content with the Internet community. Methods: The AAEI is derived from input in the form of accumulated physical activity, and evaluates the status of physical activities and days spent exercising. The term AAEI(t1,t2) is an index of the accumulated physical activity in the time interval (t1,t2), where the base unit of time is the day. The AAEI is determined according to accumulated physical activity and is adjusted using the previous status of physical activity. The previous status of physical activity is estimated according to the number of days spent exercising and the accumulated physical activity that has been performed. An analysis of the AAEI performance was conducted using a simulation model and a real-world trial with 2 participants. Results: The AAEI increased as the physical activity and days spent exercising accumulated. Conversely, the AAEI decreased with lack of physical activity and increased resting days. In simulation, the shape of the AAEI line indicated different types of exercise. The moving average AAEI represented long-term exercise. In the real-world trial, the AAEI confirmed that the simulation results were comparable to actual conditions. Conclusions: The AAEI proposed in this paper is a method that can be used to evaluate the status of a person's physical activity. The AAEI is a simple numeric indication that is estimated by analyzing accumulated physical activity and the average number of days spent exercising. The AAEI is suitable for tracking personal physical activity, reminding the user of achievement goals, and allows data sharing by using the Internet. The results have demonstrated that the AAEI is a useful tool for physical activity management.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere5
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Accumulated activity effective index (AAEI)
  • Activity level
  • Physical activity


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