How wearable tech can help improve #everydayhealth

Posted on April 25, 2016

HY wearable techYou've probably heard the buzz around 'wearable technology' lately. If you're not up to speed, wearable tech simply means an electronic device (excluding your smartphone) that can be worn to track any aspect of your health and wellbeing, for example, a fitness tracker, smartwatch or pedometer.

Anything from counting steps to generating detailed electrocardiogram readings is now possible across a huge range of wearable devices.

If you're thinking that all this doesn't apply to you, think again. According to a new survey by Simplyhealth, over 70% of people agree that wearable technology is the future and everyone will use it at some point.

The survey focused on the over 50s market* and found that although two thirds of respondents didn't currently own a device, those who did said it had changed the way they manage their health and wellbeing. Only 36% of device-wearers said it had made no difference to their health management.

What's more, people's experience of using a device was positive - 75% of users report feeling motivated by their device and 63% said it gave them a great sense of achievement. There were also marked physical benefits, with over a quarter of users reporting improved fitness and stamina.

Here are four simple ways in which our survey found wearable technology could benefit your everyday life.

Being more active every day

Counting steps was by far the most popular use of wearable technology among those surveyed. This is great news, because walking a little more each day is one of the easiest ways to improve overall fitness. Over half of device-users also said that they enjoy the competitive element of using a fitness tracker, like comparing steps or distance with friends and family.

A trimmer waist or lower BMI

Almost 20% of people said that they had lost weight or reduced their BMI since using their device. Whether this is through a watch that tracks runs or walks, or a device that counts calories, wearable technology can help users work towards a specific health and fitness goal.

Peace of mind for your heart health

21% of those surveyed said that they use their device to monitor their heart rate. This can be useful feature for keeping an eye on your resting heart rate, or making sure it doesn't rise too much whilst exercising. Of course, this doesn't substitute going to the doctor, but it could help identify a problem or monitor an ongoing one. It also proved to be a big motivation for those who don't currently own a device, with 41% of non-users saying they would consider getting a device for medical reasons such as monitoring heart rate or blood pressure.

A better night's kip

5% of respondents said they had improved their sleeping pattern with wearable technology. How? Many devices are able to monitor not just the amount but also the quality of sleep you get each night, giving a detailed report in the morning to help you identify and correct poor sleeping habits - so you can say goodbye to dark circles, low energy and bad moods.

* The average respondent age was 54

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