The rise of wearable fitness technology are a few things of a contradiction in terms. The surge in quality of devices that monitor the quantity of exercise you are doing counsel additional individuals than ever have an interest in maintaining regular fitness regimes. simply witness the success of the corporate behind fitness following bracelet Fitbit, that investors have simply deemed value US$4.1bn (£2.6bn) when it floated on the securities market. nevertheless this comes at a time once physical inactivity has reached levels of world pandemic proportion.
This shows however vital it’s that the general public perceive and follow science-based health and behavior recommendation. The advantage of wearable fitness technology is that it will offer the way for individualised information to form what proportion additional physical activity (including exercise) someone has to do and once.
The well-publicised recommendation to require “10,000 steps a day” may be a good example. The figure really originates from Japanese walking clubs and a promoting saying for pedometers over forty years agone. however step counts are shown to supply a reliable live of daily activity in healthy adults. They conjointly offer a purposeful everyday metric that enables people to self-monitor their physical activity and walking.
The self-monitoring (observing and evaluating one’s behaviour) and goal setting that escort devices like Fitbit square measure 2 of the foremost complementary and potent ways that of adjusting people’s physical activity behaviour. Combining activity trackers, which permit the user to watch their steps in period and review at their leisure, with goals like walking ten,000 steps will build individuals additional intended and additional able to increase or maintain their physical activity levels.
More is healthier
But it’s vital to understand that ten,000 steps isn’t a magic threshold. Increasing our time spent walking, in spite of our start line, is helpful. At a population level, the largest changes to health come back from enhancements at the lower finish of the size. as an example, going from a pair of,000 steps to four,000 steps can turn out larger overall health advantages than going from four,000 steps to six,000 steps. At a similar time, the additional active we have a tendency to square measure (or additional steps we have a tendency to take) every day the higher. therefore taking half dozen,000 steps on a daily basis remains higher for your health than four,000 steps.
With the emergence of an outsized variety of activity trackers, a replacement challenge has emerged for the promotion of ten,000 steps. the information behind the advice was derived from pedometers that square measure conventionally worn on the hip. Today, makers tend to provide devices for the articulatio radiocarpea as a result of they’re easier and convenient for self-monitoring.
But devices worn on the extremities can develop additional movement compared with hip-worn monitors. which means they’ll miscount alternative giant movements from standard of living, like sweeping the ground or doing the dishes, as steps. As a result, it’s vital for individuals to remember that wrist-worn devices might inflate their daily step count.
In general, we must always bear in mind that, once it involves physical activity, “some is nice however additional is better”. however we will conjointly use step counters to tackle the issues of long periods of inactive behaviour (sitting). as an example, several people can have specific times of the day (perhaps throughout work or throughout the evening) wherever we have a tendency to pay most of our time sitting. By continued to accumulate steps throughout these periods we will at the same time target reductions in our sitting time.
By watching our sitting behaviours aboard the aim of achieving ten,000 steps, we will begin to interrupt up these intensive inactive periods with bouts of activity. Not solely would we have a tendency to take additional steps however conjointly we might pay less time sitting for long periods. Some fitness trackers have started implementing this idea by prompting the user once they are inactive for “too long”.
The difficulty with physical activity promotion is that one size doesn’t essentially work all. for people with health conditions that impact their ability to accumulate higher levels of physical activity, like autoimmune disease or severe metabolism impairment, it’s probably to be additional possible to bring down lower step-count targets to start with.
People who pay tons of your time sitting throughout work, like taxi drivers, can probably got to accumulate higher step counts to assist atone for the negative effects of prolonged sitting. This has contributed to the idea of “lifestyle medicine” (preventing and managing health conditions through life style choices).
If we will get the message out that physical activity trackers got to be combined with this sort of individual goal setting, then we’d see each will increase in physical activity and reductions in sitting across populations.