A wearable-enhanced fitness program for older adults, combining fitness trackers and gamification elements: the pilot study fMOOC@Home
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Besides nutrition, physical activity is one of the most important prerequisites for healthy aging. The public funded R&D project fMOOC (Fitness MOOC—interaction of older adults with wearable fitness trackers in a Massive Open Online Course), aimed at encouraging older adults to increase their physical activity with the help of a senior-friendly wearable enhanced training system composed of a smartphone training-app coupled with an activity-tracking device.
In a pilot study, we evaluated the training system in the home environment of older adults—20 older adults, used the smartphone app and the activity-tracking device for 4 weeks. We investigated the usability of the system using validated usability tests and asked the participants about use patterns and acceptance. We also examined the effectiveness of the training by measuring changes in strength, physical activity, balancing ability and endurance.
The analysis of the data shows that the majority of the participants (60%) engaged in the training program on a regular basis. Among the various technical components of the training program, the fitness tracking devices were used most frequently (90% on a daily basis). An interesting result is that even within a short training period of 4 weeks, and within the small sample of 20 participants, the data showed significant health improvements regarding the duration of daily physical activity (T(19) = − 2.274; p < 0.05) and the balancing ability (T(19) = − 3.048; p < 0.01).
A wearable-enhanced fitness training program, can motivate older adults to be more physically active.
KeywordsOlder adults Physical activity Wearables Usability
This article was produced as part of a project which was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under Grant Number 16SV7100. Responsibility for the contents of this publication lies with the authors.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the ethic review board at the Charité and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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