Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center


Exercise Timing Study

This 4-month study seeks to learn more about people’s experiences with being asked to walk each day at a specific time each day (in the morning, in the evening, or at a time of their choice) and whether a certain exercise time is most effective for becoming more active.

Study Type
Physical activity study
Study Purpose

While we know regular physical activity is good for health, we currently know little about how the time of day that physical activity is performed relates to people’s physical activity levels. This study will help us to better understand the relationship between when people perform physical activity and how much physical activity they do. This study will also help us understand whether individuals are able and willing to perform physical activity at a specific time of the day.

Study Design

Interested participants will be asked to attend an orientation visit at the research center to learn more about the study and will wear a physical activity monitor for 1 week to verify eligibility. Options are available to complete parts of this visit either remotely or in-person. Participants who enroll in the study will complete a 45-minute session with study staff in-person or remotely to learn more about increasing physical activity and will complete several questionnaires. Participants will then be asked to walk at a moderate intensity for at least 15 consecutive minutes every day during three, 3-week periods (9 weeks total). Each participant will be asked to perform this walking in the morning (5:00-10:00 am) for one of the 3-week periods, in the evening (5:00-10:00 pm) for one of the 3-week periods, and at a time of your choosing for one of the 3-week periods. In between each 3-week with a daily exercise goal, therewill be a 2-week break period with no exercise goal. Participants will be asked to wear a physicalactivity sensor on an elastic band around their waist during all waking hours for 14 weeks (1 week at the start of the study, every day during each 3-week period with an exercise goal, and every day during both 2-week break periods) to monitor their physical activity levels. They will also be emailed a survey about their physical activity each night during the 3-week exercise periods (nightly for a total of 9 weeks). Participants will receive a weekly email each week during the program to provide support and encouragement for increasing their physical activity. Lastly, at the end of the study, participants will complete several questionnaires online and will have a brief visit at the research center to return the physical activity sensor and receive compensation.

Study Requirements

To be eligible, participants must be 35 to 65 years old, have obesity, currently engage in limited moderate-intensity physical activity, and have no medical conditions that indicate they should not participate in physical activity.

Study Duration
4 months total
Study Benefits

All participants in this study will receive information about the benefits of regular physical activity and weekly emails to support them in becoming more active. Participation in this program may help participants to increase their physical activity. However, there is no guarantee that this program will help participants to become more active. Participants will be compensated for participating.

Study Contact

To learn more about this study and to see if you are eligible to participate, please call us at 401-793-8976. You can also complete a screening questionnaire directly at https://redcap.link/exercise.timing.study





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Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center

196 Richmond Street, Providence, RI 02903
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