PDA and cell phone reminders appear to up frequency of moderate exercise.
I was a big reluctant to type the title of this blog, because when reading a newspaper, I m put off by what I call “conjectural headlines.” But the study I’m about to cite is so preliminary and based on such a small sample that I did just that.
According to several brief newspaper reports of a pilot study conducted (I think) at Stanford University and published in the scholarly American Journal of Preventive Medicine, fairly sedentary, midddle-aged and older men and women could successfully be encouraged to exercise with a daily electronic reminder. A group of 19 people were given and taught how to program PDAs or cell phones to remind them to exercise at least moderately every day. Those with the gadgets got off the couch did so for significantly more time (310 minutes a week) as those without such daily reminders (125 minutes a week). Most, the reports said, took brisk walks during the eight-week study period. I don’t know what “middle-aged and older” encompassed age-wise, not do I know how many people were in the control group and how closely their habits, gender and ages matched the group with the PDA or cell phone reminders. But even this preliminary finding provides food for motivational thought.