The High-Tech Way to Keep Seniors Active
Goals go a long way when trying to stay healthy, which is why one in 10 American adults now use an activity tracker to count steps, monitor their heart rate, measure sleep and even keep tabs on stress levels or posture. And all that monitoring is actually working. Studies have shown that people who use pedometers increase the number of steps they take each day by an average of 2,491 steps (that’s more than a mile!). And according to FitBit, taking advantage of the social features of a device led their clients to be 27 percent more active than those who kept their stats to themselves.
While young, sporty people are embracing wearable technology, older adults are actually the perfect group to use one of these new healthy gadgets. Staying active becomes more important than ever as you age and seniors who move the most are likelier to live independently and age well. Plus, most of the devices encourage you to log your activity daily and share it with family or friends. That means an older relative can submit their info at the end of every day so that loved ones know they are staying well and active. There are lots of options when it comes to buying a health monitor, but these four are a good place to start:
FitBit Charge This bracelet is designed so that you can wear and forget about it. Besides monitoring your daily activities like steps and calories burned, it also tracks the quality of your sleep. And all of data automatically syncs to your computer or smartphone, making it easier than ever to track your progress week to week. $130
Lumo Lift This tiny clip can be worn like a lapel pin and will gently vibrate when your posture slumps. By analyzing your neck and spinal positions, the Lift will remind you— either immediately or after a set amount of time—to keep your shoulders back and head lifted. It also tracks steps, calories, distance and how long you’ve been sitting. $100
Spire Ever notice that your breath gets more shallow when you’re stressed? Spire does. Clip it to your belt or bra strap and the Apple-compatible device will alert you when your breathing patterns change. It will encourage you to take longer breaths and calm down, helping you release tension. The device also measures steps, and how long you’ve been sitting, standing or lying down. $150
Sony SmartWatch 3 SWR50 This sleek, Android-compatible smart watch uses a GPS sensor to track your movements. Whenever you go out for a walk, run or bike ride, you’ll be able to track your distance, calories burned and lots of other things you didn’t even know you wanted (calendar and reminders, commuting info, notifications, weather, voice-activated search and more). $250
Photo credit: MykalJay