Smartphones for Tracking Physical Activity

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An increase in obesity, COPD and diabetes to name a few health concerns have prompted governments into promoting regular physical activity as an essential tool in promoting an individual's health. Although the minimum required time that an individual must spend exercising to be considered physically active does vary from country to country, the one common issue among each location is the behavioral pattern whereby people struggle to fit a daily physical activity schedule into their busy lives. Many people suggest that a lack of time is the reason behind their inactivity.

However, new accelerometer based technology which is now standard in smartphones facilitates the self-monitoring of a smartphone user's step count and thus has the potential to promote physical activity without requiring the purchase or wearing of additional devices e.g. pedometers. This technology is delivered to the person through a user friendly and autonomous smartphone application.

Recent development work has demonstrated that this smartphone application will increase physical activity by an average of 1,500 steps per day which has real clinical significance for individual patients. The aim of this project is the use of smartphone software technology which monitors and promotes physical activity to improve associated health outcomes.


Demonstrator Project team leaders: Monica Casey and Pat Hayes


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