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Study Looks at Harnessing Fitness Technology and Social Media to Encourage More Active Lifestyles Among Cancer Survivors

Physical activity may be one way for teen cancer survivors to reduce their risk of several chronic conditions. A team led by researchers at Seattle Children’s recently tested the practicality of using a Fitbit Flex and Facebook to help encourage physical activity among survivors.

The battle against cancer continues well after remission for many adolescents and young adults. Cancer survivors are at increased risk to develop chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and second cancers.

Physical activity can be an important factor to help lower the risk of developing these conditions while providing an increased quality of life among survivors. However, many studies have shown that cancer survivors maintain a lower level of physical activity than their peers.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Jason Mendoza at Seattle Children’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development and Dr. Eric Chow at Seattle Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center recently tested the feasibility of a mobile health intervention aimed at encouraging increased physical activity among teen cancer survivors. The team tapped into wearable fitness technology, the Fitbit Flex, social media and self-determination theory (SDT) to develop an approach that meets teen cancer survivors where they’re at. Read full post »

Study Shows College Students More Likely to Post About Alcohol on Facebook

A study by Dr. Megan Moreno found that 76% of the college students displayed alcohol references on Facebook, compared to just 34% who posted about alcohol on Twitter.

It’s spring break season, and that means many college students across the country will shift their focus from the classroom to having fun. Sometimes those spring break plans can include attending parties where alcohol is present, which can lead to concerning and excessive alcohol consumption. In fact, alcohol is the most commonly used substance by college students, and rates of problematic drinking are higher among college students than compared to their non-college peers.

A new study by Dr. Megan Moreno from Seattle Children’s Research Institute in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that college students are more than twice as likely to post about alcohol on Facebook than on Twitter.

The study provides researchers, school administrators and parents with valuable information on how to study and monitor social media for concerning alcohol consumption.

“This work illuminates new approaches for social media researchers and can help us understand where young people post different types of social media content,” said Moreno. Read full post »