FitBit rivalry helps families get active, new research reveals.
Relatives taking part in exercise-app rivalries take significantly more steps every day and are more likely to achieve their fitness goals, a study found.
Taking part in friendly FitBit competition adds around 1,700 steps, the equivalent of approximately one mile, to people’s daily count, which is more than twice that of those who skip such tournaments, the research adds.
Dr Ichiro Kawachi from Harvard University, who was not involved in the study, said: ‘We need an “extra sauce” to motivate people to keep going.
‘[One] kind of “sauce” is gamification, i.e. turning a chore – which is how many people view the doctor’s advice to exercise daily – into a game.’
Friendly fitness competition helps families get active, new research reveals
JUST 30 MINUTES OF EXERCISE MAKES WOMEN FEEL SLIMMER
Just 30 minutes of exercise makes women feel slimmer and more body confident, research revealed in June.
Being active for half-an-hour makes females feel stronger and significantly better about their body fat, a study found.
These body-confident emotions last for at least 20 minutes post-exercise, the research adds.
Study author Professor Kathleen Martin Ginis from the University of British Columbia, said: ‘We think that the feelings of strength and empowerment women achieve post exercise, stimulate an improved internal dialogue.
‘This in turn should generate positive thoughts and feelings about their bodies which may replace the all too common negative ones.’
How the research was carried out
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania analyzed 200 adults from 94 families for 12 weeks.
All of the study’s participants’ steps were monitored via a wearable device or smartphone. They also selected a step count goal and received daily feedback on their activity levels.
Families were awarded 70 points at the beginning of each week, which they would keep or lose depending on whether one particular relative achieved their step count goal.
Family members were unaware whether they were the chosen relative.
‘We need “extra sauce” to motivate people’
Results reveal taking part in fitness game competitions with family members significantly increases the likelihood of people achieving their step count goals and increases the number of steps taken per day.
Taking part in family-based fitness games adds around 1,700 steps, or roughly one mile, to people’s daily count, which is more than twice that of those not involved in such challenges.
Lead author Dr Mitesh Patel said: ‘The game was designed to help families work together toward their goals.
‘This leverages collaboration, accountability and peer support to motivate behavior change.’
Dr Kawachi added: ‘We need an “extra sauce” to motivate people to keep going.
‘One such “sauce” is social support – if we could organize sedentary people into teams so that they each egg each other on to keep exercising, this might help to sustain their behavior over a longer term.
‘Another kind of “sauce” is gamification, i.e. turning a chore – which is how many people view the doctor’s advice to exercise daily – into a game.’
The findings were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.