Sunday June 16, 2019

Smartphone App to Boost Physical Activity in Women Shows Promise in Trial

The app increased the participants’ activity goals by 20 percent each week to 10,000 steps daily

0
//
women live longer
Women participate in a fitness class lead by Kira Stokes, right, at NYSC Lab in New York, May 11, 2017. VOA

A mobile phone application designed to boost physical activity for inactive women has shown promise in a trial.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, shows that the mobile app created for women did help when combined with an activity tracker and personal counselling.

“We showed that if you design an activity app using an evidence-based approach, it will be more effective,” said study lead author Yoshimi Fukuoka, Professor at the University of California in the US.

“Our findings could go a long way to get more people to move, particularly women,” Fukuoka said.

The study, which lasted nine months, was called the mobile phone based physical activity education (mPED) trial.

The app, which was developed exclusively for the study and is not commercially available, had three main functions, including a pre-programmed interactive daily message or video that reinforced what was learned during a beginning counselling session, and a daily activity diary to record progress.

A physically fit women(representational image). Pixabay

The research team designed their app specifically for physically inactive women, incorporating behavioural change strategies known to work well for this group, such as personalised goal setting, self-monitoring, social support and feedback.

The app had three main functions, including a pre-programmed interactive daily message or video that reinforced what was learned during a beginning counselling session, and a daily activity diary to record progress.

The trial involved 210 physically inactive women, aged 25 and 65.

Also Read- Instagram Adding Support for Videos Shot in Landscape Mode

The app increased the participants’ activity goals by 20 percent each week to 10,000 steps daily.

These findings showed that the women were able to sustain an impressive level of activity above their starting point with the help of the app. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Develop Smartphone App to Reduce Migraine

PMR therapy utilising the RELAXaHEAD app dropped to 51 per cent after six weeks, and to 29 per cent after three months, said the researchers

0

Researchers have developed a smartphone-based relaxation technique which reduces headache in people who are suffering from migraine.

The RELAXaHEAD app guides patients through progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) — a type of behavioural therapy in which patients alternately relax and tense different muscle groups to reduce stress.

The study, published in the journal Nature Digital Medicine, evaluated the clinical effectiveness of an app for treating migraine and adding an app to standard therapies such as oral medications under the supervision of a doctor.

“Our study offers evidence that patients may pursue behavioural therapy if it is easily accessible, they can do it on their own time and it is affordable,” said Mia Minen, Assistant Professor at the New York University.

“Clinicians need to rethink their treatment approach to migraine because many of the accepted therapies, although proven to be the current, best course of treatment, aren’t working for all lifestyles,” Minen said.

Migraine
Migraine is a risk factor for sudden sensorineural hearing loss — characterized by rapid loss of hearing in one or both ears, which may occur immediately or over the course of several days. Pixabay

To see if an app might increase compliance, the research team analysed app use by 51 migraine patients, all of whom owned smartphones.

For the study, participants were asked to use the app for 90 days and to keep a daily record of the frequency and severity of their headaches, while the app kept track of how long and often patients used PMR.

During the research, on average, participants had 13 headache days per month. Thirty-nine per cent of the patients also reported having anxiety and 30 per cent had depression.

Also Read- Single But Not Straight? Tinder wants to Find You a Match

PMR therapy utilising the RELAXaHEAD app dropped to 51 per cent after six weeks, and to 29 per cent after three months, said the researchers.

“The study results suggest that accessible smartphone technologies can effectively teach patients lifelong skills needed to manage their migraines,” Minen said. (IANS)