Wearing a physical activity tracker and receiving personalized feedback on exercise have been linked to better exercise performance, weight loss, and other health outcomes among obese individuals.
In combination with wear physical activity trackerThe researchers found that personal supervised exercise was associated with better outcomes in exercise performance, weight loss, and other health outcomes among obese individuals, compared to unsupervised exercise.
These results have been published in Frontiers in public health.
Research shows that supervised exercise is associated with superior health outcomes for many conditions, compared to unsupervised exercise. Meanwhile, wearable physical activity trackers are becoming increasingly popular for weight self-management, despite limited evidence of their effectiveness.
Because there is no evidence comparing the effectiveness of remotely supervised exercise with self-directed exercise based on mobile health (mobile health) such as wearable trackers, the authors conducted a study comparing their effectiveness in weight control among individuals residing in Chongqing, China. They were overweight or obese.
By the end of the follow-up, the non-randomized controlled clinical study included 31 patients in the intervention group and 28 patients in the control group. Both groups consisted of predominantly women, with a mean age of 38.3 (8.5) years in the intervention group and 40.8 (8.7) years in the control group.
All participants ranged in age from 18 to 65 years, had a body mass index (BMI) of 24 to 40 years, did not have a habit of doing routine exercise, and were at low to moderate risk of cardiovascular disease. The participants also did not join other exercise programs during the study, and they were not dieting or taking weight loss medication.
Participants in the intervention group received three essential components of management: a personalized exercise prescription, a heart rate tracker, a paired mobile application, and access to an online chat room.
The personal exercise prescription was based on an individual’s heart rate reserve (HRR), and effective exercise was defined as a heart rate of between 40% and 60% of heart rate. Participants had to engage in active exercise at least 3 days a week for 12 weeks, without being restricted to the type of exercise.”
The paired app provided visual feedback and records of exercise performance to participants, and exercise data was automatically synced to the cloud server and made available to researchers.
The researchers also supervised exercise in the intervention group by checking daily exercise performance, and provided participants with personalized instructions, reminders, and encouragement through the chat room function as needed.
In the control group, the researchers did not provide this personal advice, and participants were blind and unaware that they were being treated as a control.
Both the intervention and control groups had the same rate of attrition during 12 weeks of follow-up. However, the supervised participants experienced better exercise performance, including exercise of the day, effective exercise day, and effective exercise rate, compared to unsupervised participants.
The mean weekly exercise day (SD) was 3.5 (0.8) in the intervention group and 2.6 (1.0) in the control group.
The weekly exercise day was 2.6 (0.6) and 1.5 (0.6), and the rate of effective exercise day was 74.6% (11.1%) and 60.0% (11.7%) between the intervention and control groups, respectively.
In addition, the mean weight loss was 2.7 (2.8) kg in the intervention group and 2.0 (2.9) kg in the control group (s = .23).
The researchers also found: “Compared to the control group, participants in the intervention group improved liver function, kidney function, fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.” “Supervised exercise based on portable health is more effective in improving health factors than self-directed exercise based on portable health among overweight and obese participants.”
According to the authors, personal supervision of an exercise is expensive and resource-intensive, but remote supervision can be achieved through wearable devices and communication technologies with greater flexibility and resource savings.
They conclude, “Remotely supervised physical activity tracker-based exercise can be introduced into a health and exercise program to enhance the effects of self-directed, wearable-based exercise for overweight and obesity.”
Hu Y, Zhang Y, Qi X et al. Supervised mHeath exercises improve health factors more than self-directed mHeath exercises: a controlled clinical study. In front of public health. Published online August 5, 2022. doi: 10.3389 / fpubh.2022.895474