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Digital Technologies for Physical Activity

Inactivity costs society an annual average of INT$54 billion and is an important risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as colon and breast cancers as well as heart disease and diabetes [1]. Physical activity is an essential health habit, yet the pace of advancement towards the recommended levels of PA has been slow. In order to encourage a healthier lifestyle, interventions should be appealing and accessible to all people including those who may not be motivated.

Digital technologies could be an effective tool to achieve this. Studies have proven that eHealth applications and wearable devices can encourage individuals to increase their physical activity, and can help them keep track of and manage their behavioral change. However, it is important to be aware that not every technology is equally effective for everyone. Particularly, those with low SES are more likely to experience difficulties when using technology to enhance healthy behavior (e.g. difficulties with accessing affordable devices and internet connectivity).

In the field of digital technology for physical activities, research is in its infancy, but some intriguing results have been discovered. For instance, several studies have shown that the use of virtual reality or augmented realities can increase the enjoyment and learning of physical activities. Additionally it has been demonstrated that gaming can help students to be more active, and make PE more appealing subject. Moreover, Burges Watson et al. Additionally, Burges-Watson et al. have discovered that students who played games had more positive attitudes towards PE topics and were more willing to work with others in groups.

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