Examining the Effects of a Fitbit Treatment Package on the Physical Activity for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Jessica E. Frieder

Second Advisor

Dr. Wayne Fuqua

Third Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Baker

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling


Physical activity, goal setting, community- based settings, intellectual disabilities, contingent incentives, applied behavior analysis


Nationally, only one in three adults engage in a sufficient amount of physical activity each week to achieve overall wellness, with less than 5% participating in 30 minutes each day (Centers for Disease Control, 2019). Despite the substantial health benefits of physical activity, populations with intellectual disabilities are substantially inactive, even more so than their typically-developing peers. Research suggests approximately 90% of adults with disabilities are not active enough (Oviedo et al., 2017; Ptomey et al., 2017). In consideration of these findings, the current study used a treatment package to increase the daily physical activity of adults with intellectual disabilities living in community-based settings. Fitbit® trackers were used to measure and monitor physical activity in the form of daily steps and duration of exercises. Other treatment components included goal setting, one-on-one “coaching” sessions, and incentives contingent on meeting a pre-established physical activity goal. Increases in physical activity across all five participants who encountered intervention were achieved. Strengths and limitations of the intervention, considerations for assessing barriers and facilitators to physical activity, and recommendations for future research are discussed.


Fifth Advisor: Dr. Ray Miltenberger

Access Setting

Dissertation-Abstract Only

Restricted to Campus until


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