Older adults who stay physically active benefit from improved mobility, health and mental well-being. One the most common barriers to staying active is finding the motivation to get up and moving. Studies have shown that using pedometers to count the numbers of steps taken daily is associated with increased levels of physical activity. A Stanford study found that “these little devices were shown to increase physical activity by just over 2,000 steps, or about 1 mile of walking per day”.
But why just track your steps when today’s wearables offer so much more data? Check out the innovative products below that have the potential to keep older adults on the move.
Belty is a motorized smart belt that has a built-in pedometer. Wearing this belt also prevents inactivity by vibrating if the wearer has been sedentary for an hour. With Bluetooth capabilities it feeds activity and inactivity summaries along with waistline data into a sister smartphone app. The data is then analyzed to create suggestions on how to improve personal fitness.
Fitbit Zip “tracks your steps, distance, and calories burned – and syncs those stats to your computer and select smartphones. In doing so, it celebrates how much more you do each day. Zip™ encourages you to set goals, challenge friends, and go farther – one step at time.”
Vivofit displays steps, calories, distance and monitors sleep. “Vívofit can turn good intentions into lifelong habits. It’s the only activity tracker that greets you with a personalized daily goal, tracks your progress and reminds you when it’s time to move.”
The Canadian Physical Activities Guidelines state that older adults 65+ need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity daily. Perhaps technology is the key to motivating individuals to start and maintain activities to meet the guidelines.
Did you know?
Many Canadian local libraries offer pedometer lending programs for free.