Aging Gracefully: The Ultimate Tool for Staying Active
As we age, it becomes increasingly important to maintain an active lifestyle to keep our bodies and minds healthy. However, this can be a challenge for people who may face mobility issues, chronic health conditions, or other barriers to physical activity. Fortunately, smartwatches can help make staying active more accessible and engaging.
Smartwatches offer a range of features that can support active aging, from step tracking and heart rate monitoring to GPS mapping and fitness challenges. By providing real-time feedback on physical activity and health metrics, smartwatches can motivate people to stay active and achieve their fitness goals.
One of the most significant benefits of smartwatches for active aging is the ability to track steps and monitor physical activity levels. For people who may have trouble keeping track of their daily activity, a smartwatch can provide a clear and concise summary of their steps taken, calories burned, and other metrics. This information can be incredibly motivating.
Another key feature of smartwatches for active aging is heart rate monitoring. As we age, our cardiovascular health becomes increasingly important, and tracking heart rate can help older adults stay on top of their heart health. Some smartwatches even offer alerts when heart rate goes above or below a certain threshold, which can be especially helpful for people with heart conditions.
Smartwatches can also support active aging by offering GPS mapping and location tracking. This can be particularly useful for people who enjoy outdoor activities like walking, hiking, or biking. GPS mapping can easily track their route, distance, and speed, while location tracking can provide added safety and security when exploring unfamiliar areas.
Another way smartwatches can support active aging is through fitness challenges and social support. Many smartwatch apps offer fitness challenges that encourage users to reach specific goals or compete with friends and family members. This can be a fun and engaging way for people to stay motivated and accountable for their physical activity.
Overall, smartwatches offer a range of features and benefits that can support active aging and help people maintain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Whether you're looking to track your steps, monitor your heart rate, or explore the great outdoors, a smartwatch can be an excellent tool for staying active and engaged in your health and wellness.
In 2019, Inspired Villages conducted a Fitbit pilot program in collaboration with Hero at one of their villages. The program began with a wellbeing discovery survey to identify residents' areas of struggle with their wellbeing and the areas in which they required more support.
The survey was repeated at the end of the trial. The baseline survey revealed that residents were active for 30 minutes or more on an average of 3.86 days per week, with only 41% of residents being satisfied with their current activity levels. Additionally, 33% of residents were sitting for 7 or more hours per day, and they desired more emphasis on physical health.
The primary objective of the program was to promote activity and movement throughout the day. The program lasted for three months and included 27 residents with an average age of 76. Each resident was provided with a Fitbit to monitor their steps and active minutes, and they received on-site and remote support from Hero Wellbeing.
The results were remarkable. Between November 4th and January 31st, residents walked a total of 15,148,966 steps, equivalent to the distance between Exeter and Hawaii, with enough steps left for a walking holiday. Additionally, residents' activity levels increased by 18%, with an increase in satisfaction with activity levels from 41% to 67%. Furthermore, sitting hours decreased by 20%, from 33% to 13%, and there was an increase in happiness levels from 7.33 out of 10 to 7.76 out of 10.
Moreover, there was a decrease in loneliness by 32%, from 1.77 to 1.19, and an increase in satisfaction with mental wellbeing by 8%, from 73% to 81%. The program had a positive impact on the community, with residents enjoying walking together, competing to get more steps, and encouraging others to use smartwatches.
In summary, the Fitbit pilot program successfully encouraged physical activity and wellbeing among residents at Inspired Villages, resulting in significant improvements in activity levels, mental and physical wellbeing, and overall happiness.
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