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Are fitness gadgets useful?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 16.10.2021

Well-known and popular fitness gadgets today, such as accelerometers, pedometers, fitness trackers, are designed to improve the user's physical activity and promote a healthy lifestyle. However, do they actually improve physical intensity in people with cardiometabolic problems? Scientists led by Dr. Hodkinson at the National Institute for Medical Research at the Academic Health Science Center in Manchester have used meta-analytical practice to answer this question.

A systematic study using meta-analysis was applied to nearly four dozen randomized clinical trials involving more than four thousand people who regularly use fitness trackers. At the beginning of the use of such gadgets, there was a significant increase in the level of physical activity, which lasted for about 3-4 months of follow-up. A particular increase in activity was observed with the use of pedometers and devices, the action of which is based on the provision of personal advice.

The researchers concluded that the use of mobile fitness trackers (especially those that have a pedometer and personal counseling function) significantly increase the activity of people with cardiometabolic conditions. However, these optimizations are not always consistent with the goals set by the physician in the clinical guidelines.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services provides the following guidelines. To benefit their own health, an adult should be physically active for 150 to 300 minutes (moderate physical activity) or 75 to 150 minutes (high-intensity aerobic activity) weekly. It is recommended to periodically change and combine activity levels, alternating periods of running with walking, cycling, playing with a ball, dancing, swimming. The alternation is carried out within a week.

Additional benefit is expected from maintaining physical activity for more than 300 minutes per week (moderate pace). It is recommended that you do medium to high intensity muscle strengthening exercises involving all major muscle groups at least twice a week. These exercises provide additional support and health benefits.

People over 55 are advised to focus on multicomponent physical activity, perform exercises to train the vestibular apparatus and to strengthen the muscle frame.

The results of the project were announced on the pages of JAMA Network Open


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