Physical activity wristbands encourage more active behaviors among the school population, study finds

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A study led by the Department of Physical Education and Sports at the University of Granada (UGR) has shown that activity wristbands can be an effective tool as a motivational strategy to promote changes in sedentary habits and behavior among the school population.

The “School-Fit” project evaluated the progress of daily physical activity parameters based on several studies. One examined the validity of wristbands as a tool for measuring daily physical activity, while another measured the number of daily steps taken in relation to the WHO’s recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and two intervention studies were conducted with primary school children and secondary school adolescents.

The results showed that physical activity data improved in all cases, with increases in daily steps (moderate physical activity) and (healthy) vigorous physical activity. The findings are published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Useful tool to counter sedentary lifestyles

The researchers also found that the wristbands showed a high degree of validity and accuracy for measuring some of the physical activity variables they assessed (e.g. number of steps). They recommend their use as an intervention strategy to encourage changes in favor of more active behaviors, especially in school settings.

In this sense, the research team encourages physical education teachers to employ these wearable monitors to evaluate the results of intervention programs aimed at meeting the daily physical activity recommendations set by education and health authorities.

Until now, monitoring the daily physical activity of schoolchildren has been rather complicated. However, the use of these devices makes it possible to implement programs to improve the data on the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles in classrooms at a relatively low cost.

More information:
Santiago Guijarro-Romero et al, Effect of an activity wristband-based intermittent teaching unit in Physical Education on studentsʼ physical activity and its psychological mediators: a cluster-randomized controlled trial. School-fit study, Frontiers in Psychology (2023). DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1228925

Journal information:
Frontiers in Psychology

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