Smartphone apps and trackers may help boost physical activity

Surveys show that about one in five Americans uses a smartphone app or tracker for monitoring exercise. Evidence for the benefits of these tools is mixed, but a new review suggests they may encourage people to move a bit more.

Researchers pooled findings from 28 studies involving a total of nearly 7,500 people who took part in studies using a smartphone app or activity tracker. They found that these tools have a small to moderate effect in boosting physical activity, motivating people to take an average of 1,850 additional steps per day.

Unlike pedometers and other earlier step- and motion-tracking devices, modern-day smartphones, smart watches, and fitness bands record activity with greater ease and accuracy. Newer apps also offer more personalized features and other ways to encourage people, such as text messaging. In fact, interventions that relied on these enhanced features were more effective at boosting activity, according to the review, which was published online Dec. 21, 2020, by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16 NIV

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 NIV

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 NIV

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 NIV

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love. Ephesians 3:16-17 NIV

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13  NIV

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9 NIV

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV

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