Reminders on your phone that tell you to get moving throughout the day may help you spend less time sitting, according to a new study.
The results showed that study participants who used smartphone reminders spent three percent less time sitting during the day (on average), compared with individuals who did not use the reminders. This would be the equivalent of 25 more minutes spent moving rather than sitting each day, the researchers found.
Darla E. Kendzor, author of the study and a clinical psychologist at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, said that applying this method in everyday life can be done quite easily, since many people already have access to smartphones.
In the new study – published Monday (Jan. 25) in the Journal of Medical Internet Research – the researchers wanted to figure out whether the use of smartphone reminders could help reduce the amount of time people spent sitting every day.
More than one hundred people participated in the new study. Over the course of a week, 107 individuals were asked to wear accelerometers (to measure their activity levels) and carry smartphones.
At the beginning of the study the people were give handouts about the importance of having an active lifestyle; they were also given tips on how to increase the amount of time spent moving, and spend less time sitting. During that week, they also received messages that reminded them about the negative effects linked with sedentary lifestyles.
The reminders encouraged the participants to stand up and move around for about five minutes. The messages that they got also encouraged them to stand up every half hour and move a little.
A control group made of about one hundred and thirty people was also part of the study. These individuals did not receive smartphone prompts or handouts.
Further research needs to be conducted to confirm the findings, Kendzor and her colleagues noted. Even so, it appears as though smartphone prompts are a good strategy to help people reduce the time they spend sitting each day.
Sedentary lifestyle was linked to a number of health problems such as: increased risk of breast, ovarian, colorectal, prostate, and endometrial cancers; higher body mass index (BMI); weight gain and obesity, according to previous researches. In the United States, adults spend an average of about eight hours per day sitting, the researchers said.
Image Source: thumbs.dreamstime