Electronic Activity Trackers Encourage Family Fun and Fitness

E-health has been touted as the “single-most important revolution in healthcare since the advent of modern medicine, vaccines or even public health measures like sanitation and clean water”. Common areas of e-health include telemedicine, electronic patient records, computer-assisted surgery, and monitoring systems that are portable and/or wearable such as activity trackers. Some primary care physicians are engaging patients in self-monitoring, and goal setting through the use of novel e-health technologies. In 2013, wearable health-tracking technologies generated over US $1.6 billion, a number which is expected to rise to US $5 billion by 2016.

Current physical activity guidelines for adults aged 18–64 include at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise weekly, completed in intervals of at least 10 minutes, combined with at least two days per week of strength or resistance training. Unfortunately, few adults meet these physical activity recommendations. For children, the recommendations are for 60 minutes each day of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity. Although active play and organised sport is common for some children, computers, hand-held devices, and decreasing school physical education class time may be contributing to our children becoming increasingly sedentary.