Date of Award

8-1-2016

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark

Abstract

The study examined the use of fitness tracking devices on the physical activity of people with disabilities, where half of the participants also took part in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that targeted values and committed action relation to health behavior. 16 individuals with developmental disabilities participated in the study and consented to wear the Fitbit devices in a pouch around their waist for one week. Eight of the participants were randomly selected to be part of the treatment group which included participation in eight different group mindfulness protocol activities over the course of five weekdays during attendance at their day programs. The mindfulness techniques were implemented for the treatment group to stay aligned with their health values and to set goals to increase their physical activity. The other eight participants were in the control group and received no treatment. Those who participated in the mindfulness instruction techniques had a higher average of daily steps than those participants who were in the control group. The ACT treatment group’s mean total of daily steps was 5141, while the control group’s mean total of daily steps was 4476. There was increase in the treatment group when compared with the control group, but this finding was not considered to be statistically significant.

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