Wearables and mobile applications can undoubtedly improve the health and wellness of millions of individuals around the world. It is time that technology disrupts the fitness industry and takes it to unimaginable heights. Fitness technology can lead exercise professionals including researchers, strength and conditioning practitioners, and wellness coaches alike, to better understand the populations they are working with and allow them to provide specialized and accurate information that will improve health and wellness to all clients. Not only can exercise professionals benefit from fitness technology, but in this TedTalk, I present the idea that people in any socioeconomic class around the world can use technology to improve their personal fitness and wellness and to further prevent the onset of chronic diseases.
The MHealth is a journal for research, validation, and discussion of mobile technology, digital health, and medicine. With assistance from John Breslin from the National University of Ireland Galway, I published original research comparing the self-reported daily physical activity of people who were surveyed through the Healthy People 2020 Survey to the mobile fitness app real-time reporting of physical activity using Twitter. We collected over 1.9 million tweets regarding physical activity recorded from fitness apps shared over twitter from over 160,000 different individuals. The results from the shared fitness app tweets suggest that people actually exhibited lower percentages of achieving both the 150 to 300 and 300+ min levels than is reflected in the Healthy People survey results. Thus, social media has potential in yielding valuable information regarding health and fitness in general populations and improving the way we collect large fitness samples.
In addition to my video series, “101 Fitness Games for Kids,” I also published a book describing these same games to get children engaged in physical activity. The book offers thorough instructions of safe, fun, and dynamic fitness games that will improve the wellbeing and health of children.
Studies have shown that people who have wearable fitness technology AND a wellness coach are more likely to increase the use of their wearable device than those who only have a wearable fitness technology. People are more likely to continue using their wearable devices to track their workouts and reach their fitness goals if they have been paired with someone knowledgeable in the field of fitness. In this link, I talk about how wearable devices and technology can actually increase member retention for gym owners. It can be used as a platform to praise clients and stay connected with them in an online setting. It makes clients feel as if they are more successful in tracking their progress and reaching goals.
Wearable fitness devices can track your steps, distance traveled, calories burned and, sleep patterns. In this link, I am cited talking about the effect wearables can have on the obesity epidemic. It is not enough just to observe the data being recorded by these devices, but instead, to shift the paradigm of technology and fitness, users must turn the data into actionable information by creating a baseline and working towards a goal based on that baseline. Wearables can help people visual their goals and watch how small changes lead to even greater changes.
In this link readers will find an article by the New York Times reviewing President Trump’s physical shape. President Trump’s physician says that Trump could lose 10-15 pounds and when told that Trump was more game for dieting rather than working out. Getting President Trump to be motivated to engage in a fitness regimen may be a challenge. I was cited in this article as the executive director of the White House Athletic Center and added that a wearable device may be a potential motivator to President Trump. I also expressed that I would tell Mr. Trump he should walk the golf course instead of ride in a golf cart.
This link takes you to an article from Men’s Health looking at the the future of gym technology. As a senior advisor of fitness technologies at the American Council on Exercise and professor of kinesiology at Point Loma University, I am cited expressing my thoughts on how technology can make fitness and wellness effective and thus, if it is effective, people will utilize it. I continued to talk about forward-thinking gyms that promote technology and the impact they can have on the future of individual health and wellness.
There are more users of the UnderArmour platform of mobile fitness apps than there are members of ALL health clubs in the USA by a factor of 2