Applying wearable activity trackers in patient populations

...do they increase activity levels in patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases?

Short-term adherence to wearable activity trackers is high in people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. In this population, interventions using wearable activity trackers are effective to increase physical activity levels, leading to an increase of 1,520 steps per day. Symptoms do not worsen with short term use of wearable activity trackers though pain increased slightly in long-term interventions.

The results showed that short-term adherence to wearable activity trackers was high in this population (92 percent at ten weeks). Regarding the effect on increasing physical activity levels, results showed an interesting increase of 1,520 steps per day between groups using the tracker and groups without the tracker. An effect was also observed on the time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity with a 16 min daily difference between groups.

However, no significant results were found for the main outcomes in prolonged follow-up after the end of the intervention period. Increase in physical activity was not correlated with an increase in short-term symptoms, although pain increased during long-term interventions.

Wearable activity trackers appear to be a promising strategy to improve physical activity for patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

> From: Davergne et al., Arthritis Care Res 71 (2019) 758-767 . All rights reserved to American College of Rheumatology. Click here for the online summary.

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