BACKGROUND: Modern lifestyle is associated with a high prevalence of physical inactivity.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to investigate the effect of a wearable tracking device on cardiorespiratory fitness among inactive adults and to explore if personal characteristics and health outcomes can predict adoption of the device.
METHODS: In total, 62 inactive adults were recruited for this study. A control period (4 weeks) was followed by an intervention period (8 weeks) where participants were instructed to register and follow their physical activity (PA) behavior on a wrist-worn tracking device. Data collected included estimated cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, blood pressure, perceived stress levels, and self-reported adoption of using the tracking device.
RESULTS: In total, 50 participants completed the study (mean age 48, SD 13 years, 84% women). Relative to the control period, participants increased cardiorespiratory fitness by 1.52 mL/kg/minute (95% CI 0.82-2.22; P<.001), self-reported PA by 140 minutes per week (95% CI 93.3-187.1; P<.001), daily step count by 982 (95% CI 492-1471; P<.001), and participants' fat percentage decreased by 0.48% (95% CI -0.84 to -0.13; P=.009). No difference was observed in blood pressure (systolic: 95% CI -2.16 to 3.57, P=.63; diastolic: 95% CI -0.70 to 2.55; P=.27) or perceived stress (95% CI -0.86 to 1.78; P=.49). No associations were found between adoption of the wearable tracking device and age, gender, personality, or education. However, participants with a low perceived stress at baseline were more likely to rate the use of a wearable tracking device highly motivating.
CONCLUSIONS: Tracking health behavior using a wearable tracking device increases PA resulting in an improved cardiorespiratory fitness among inactive adults.