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CAHS study to look at Facebook for health education promotion

Leveraging the power of social media, a new study led by WVU College of Applied Human Sciences is tapping into Facebook to deliver health education and promotion programs to a digital audience.

Professor Peter Giacobbi is leading a research study funded by Facebook/Meta via its non-profit foundation, Global Impact. His team is investigating the feasibility and impact of a physical activity and sleep intervention for adults ages 50-65 in private Facebook groups.

Suzanne Vogler, a doctoral student in the sport, exercise, and performance psychology program, is managing the project. She has adapted evidence-based messages about physical activity and sleep from reputable scientific organizations and the Centers for Disease Control for digital delivery. The private Facebook group receives content such as videos with guided meditations, yoga, and polls about activity and sleep. Content is delivered daily to groups of 8-12 individuals.

Individuals in the private groups are encouraged to engage with the content and each other to promote lifestyle changes. Vogler promotes participation by developing visually pleasing and user-friendly content combined with thought-provoking, open-ended questions.

“If this study is proven feasible, acceptable to participants, and effective, this project could serve as a model for studies that address other health behaviors and conditions,” Giacobbi said. “Using Facebook groups could also supplement traditional in-person health programs or serve as an adjunct.”

Those who are between the ages of 50-65 can email Suzanne Vogler at to assess for eligibility.

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