Gadgets at the service of health

In a world that is increasingly accelerated, with long working hours, intense traffic, growing urbanization and prolonged sedentary lifestyle, health is put a little aside. Thus, not only exercise is forgotten, but even basic issues such as walking or drinking water are played down.

Digitization and gadgets have had a controversial existence, receiving accusations of reducing social dynamics or chaining the user to a screen, but we must not forget its positive side. Since digitalization, electronic devices have been developed that seek to combat major urban problems, such as stress, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet and lack of sleep.

According to WHO, physical inactivity is a global public health problem. Among its statistics we find that at least 60% of the world's population does not perform the physical activity necessary to obtain health benefits. In addition to the prevention of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases or diabetes, physical movement helps combat the disease, one of the main ailments of today; Last year the WHO revealed that work stress causes 25% of heart attacks.

Do not confuse lack of exercise with physical inactivity. The latter is defined as having made less than 150 minutes accumulated in the week of moderate or vigorous physical activity. Also, sedentary lifestyle is considered when more than 28 hours per week are spent sitting, and more than 20% of the population is in This status.

Improving the quality of life is the goal of this type of gadgets, such as those developed by Fitbit. Faced with health problems that spread across the globe, the Californian brand developed portable technology focused on health and the fitness industry. This one opened its doors in 2007 and it was with a fast growth, since in the period between 2010 and 2015 the profits of Fitbit increased of 5 million dollars more than 1,800 million dollars (Statista). For 2014, 14 million devices were sold and in 2016 almost 40 million were sold. This shows that gadgets created to improve health is one of the most promising segments in the technology industry.

How does it work?

There are several types, from basic physical activity bracelets to smartwatches. But one of the most complete, without falling into the smart watch, is the Fitbit Alta HR. It is a thin bracelet that also has a watch on its digital screen. This is communicated through an application with the Smartphone in order to have more accurate statistics and achieve the objectives with greater efficiency.

When using the bracelet during the day it measures the steps, the heart rate, the distance traveled in kilometers, the calories burned and the time of physical exercise. In the application, the objectives are defined, for example, 8,000 steps per day, which is recommended to get out of a sedentary lifestyle, and in this way the device calculates the necessary steps per hour to reach the goal. With this, every so often it measures how many steps are missing and vibrates gently to invite the user to take a short walk or to complete a certain number of steps. This type of silent notification allows people to be more aware of their level of activity and motivates them to make a small effort.

Heart rate monitoring is very useful to achieve goals of increasing physical condition and calculate calorie burn both at rest and during an activity. This is very efficient when carrying out a weight loss plan. To complement, in the application there is a section in which you can manually enter what foods are consumed and count the calories consumed. Likewise, there is another section to record the number of glasses of water that are drunk and to become aware of the importance of consuming this vital liquid.

Sleep monitoring is one of its new functions. To measure it, it is necessary to sleep with the device on the wrist so that it can perceive the duration and constancy of sleep. In addition, thanks to the fact that it measures the heart rate, it manages to record the time spent in each of the sleep phases and then graphs them in the App, from which it is possible to compare with the phases of the standard sleep according to gender and age. This not only measures the sleeping time, but also the quality of it. As an additional help, from the phone you define the time in which you want to go to bed so that a vibration notifies you that it is time to rest and when it is time you wake up in the same way.

Something that is important is that this type of devices do not force you to follow a certain pre-established pattern of health, but are created to customize habits according to the type of life and personal goals. Although it has suggestions, such as the number of recommended steps, for example, everything goes according to an organic and comfortable improvement for the user. At the end of the day it is up to everyone to improve their quality of life and this type of gadgets make their lives easier.

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