Friday, March 03, 2017
Wearable Fitness Monitors Get An Evidence Based Thumbs Up. Who Would Have Guessed?
This appeared last week.
Authored by Sarah Colyer
WEARABLE activity monitors have earned a place in the “menu” of strategies to help patients become more active, experts agree.
Around 20% of Australian adults now own some form of wearable technology, and the devices are increasingly being incorporated into health research to provide more reliable, objective measures of physical activity than self-reports.
Health insurers are also heavily promoting wearables, with one insurer now rewarding customers with flybuys points for every day they reach 10 000 steps.
In an editorial in the MJA, Professor Jo Salmon and Dr Nicola Ridgers, of the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University, said that there was still limited research into whether wearables could increase and maintain physical activity levels in the long term.
Nevertheless, they urged health practitioners to view activity monitors as a “good first step” for sedentary patients looking for assistance with becoming more active.
“Wearable technology provides a ready means for self-monitoring of clinical and behavioural data in real time, long regarded by health behaviour change scientists as critical for the adoption (or cessation) of particular behaviours,” they wrote.
A study of 800 Singaporean workers found that those assigned to groups with activity monitors did around 30 minutes more exercise per week than those in control groups, they noted.
However, they also cited another study suggesting that any reliable method of self-monitoring, rather than a wearable device per se, could lead to increases in physical activity levels.
Carly Ryan, standards advisor for Exercise and Sports Science Australia, told MJA InSight that wearables could help patients achieve recommended daily activity targets with support from their health professional.
“For the individual, it is an easy, accessible, and instant way to get feedback about their daily activity levels,” she said.
For health professionals, wearable devices had the advantage of providing a more accurate overall picture of the patient’s activity levels than self-report, she said.
The full article is found here:
I have to say that one would have expected sensibly designed devices would make a difference but it is good to see the evidence now suggest the obvious is actually true!
Good news for those who need to get moving.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Friday, March 03, 2017