Physical inactivity has become a growing problem worldwide. In the US, more than 25% of adults are physically inactive, with activity rates varying in each state. Several barriers, such as a lack of safe spaces, parks, and proper sidewalks or the lack of time and social support, can decrease exercise. With this gap in physical activity, people are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.
Technology can be implemented as part of fitness routines to combat health issues. These devices can not only make exercise more accessible and more convenient but can also boost health outcomes. As shared in our post on exercise equipment, using tools to supplement exercise, especially cardio, can further strengthen heart health and fitness, burn extra energy, and increase brain functionality, to name a few. If you’re looking to use technology to supplement your fitness, here are some options to get you started:
One of the most popular options for tracking fitness goals is wearable devices such as smartwatches. A scientific review on wearable activity trackers notes that, on average, the trackers were able to encourage people to walk up to 40 minutes more each day, resulting in an average of one kilogram (2.2 pounds) weight loss over five months. Although this may not seem much, this lifestyle change can help overcome the average weight gain of 0.5 kilograms (1.1 pounds) per year. In addition to motivating people to exercise, wearable devices can easily track health information and notify users of any irregular heartbeat or blood oxygen levels. Most smartwatches and other wearable devices are typically able to connect to mobile devices, so make sure your gadgets are compatible before making a purchase.
With the significant transition to remote work, many people are becoming conscious of how much time they spend inactive while on their computers. Rather than staying in a chair all day, people can remain productive at work while engaging in fitness using a treadmill desk. Usually located under a standing desk or built as a standalone desk, treadmill desks allow you to move while working, so you can reap the benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day — which include strengthening your heart, burning body fat, stabilizing blood sugar and improving cognitive performance. Before purchasing a treadmill desk, one must first assess the maximum desk height and stability. If the desk is too short or unstable to hold your workstation, you may face more health hazards, and the equipment you bought can’t be used well.
Active video games
While active video games or exergaming aren’t meant to replace traditional video games, these can serve as the perfect introduction to increasing physical activity. A study on exergaming notes that while those who took the regular exercise classes worked out more, playing exergames felt more enjoyable and sustainable in the long run. People often forget how difficult it is for inactive people to take the first step to exercise, so having a fun way to engage in the comfort of their own homes can address this problem. For parents looking to get their children into exercise, active video games can be a great way to decrease sedentary time.
Whether motivating yourself using wearable devices, walking on a desk treadmill or playing active video games, getting engaged in movement and exercise can help you get started on a healthier you. Through technology, more people can benefit from a more active lifestyle.