Activity Tracking, Part 1 of 2

Fitness Tracking and mHealthFitness Tracking, along with Diet and Exercise, is a Top 3 category in Health & Fitness on smartphones and tablets in America today.

Losing weight is thought to be a two-sided coin, portion control and exercise, and a large percentage of those tracking daily fitness are battling obesity.

Philips, a 121-year old Dutch electronics company operating worldwide, has a small tracker called DirectLife, and the results have been compelling…

DirectLife (called ActiveLink when distributed by Weight Watchers in the USA) was tested with 215 employees in three Dutch companies, as well as with 140 city employees in the town of Gilbert, Arizona, in co-operation with Arizona State University [SOURCE:  Philips, 2012].  Some 43% of the Dutch participants were classified as inactive at the start of the DirectLife program. Of the American participants, 70% were rated inactive. No incentives or rewards were offered in any of the trials. Motivation was based solely on intrinsic factors.

An average of 50% of the participants in the trial finished the full 12-week program.  These individuals tracked and monitored their activity level for 12 weeks, with their data uploaded to the web site showing their relative progress.

Participants that were active at the beginning of the program did NOT significantly change their activity level over the 12 weeks. However, amongst the initially inactive participants, 25% of them increased their activity level. At the very least, there was a 5% increase in activity.

On average, however, there was a 28% increase at the end of the 12 weeks. Think about it– just a 5% increase for an inactive person means he or she is walking 15 minutes every day instead of sitting.  And a 28% increase for this group signifies a substantial boost in activity, approaching. the World Heath Organization-recommended “30 minutes of moderate physical activity, five times a week.”

Next week, we’ll look at smartphone-based activity trackers, such as RunKeeper.

[SOURCE:  RunKeeper]

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