Unhealthy diet and physical inactivity—major risk factors for the main non-communicable diseases—can be addressed by mobile health applications. Using an evidence-based systematic review design, we analysed studies on mobile applications to foster physical activity to determine whether they met the objective of increasing adults’ physical activity. A bibliographic search was conducted in October 2020 using PubMed, Cochrane Library Plus, Biomed Central, Psychology Database, and SpringerLink, retrieving 191 articles. After titles and abstracts were reviewed, 149 articles were excluded, leaving 42 articles for a full-text review, of which 14 met the inclusion criteria. Despite differences in study duration, design, and variables, 13 of the 14 studies reported that applications were effective in increasing physical activity and healthy habits as dietary behaviour. However, further longer-term studies with larger samples are needed to confirm the effectiveness of mobile health applications in increasing physical activity.


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