SmartPhones Cause Decline in Fitness Efforts

by WLCFW on August 14, 2013

smartphone study

New research is now starting to suggest that smartphones are turning people away from their fitness routines and are directing them toward being more sedentary.

If you aren’t sure what you would do without your smartphone, then you might want to know what research has to offer you as an answer: you’d get more active and spend more time working out. This is because the people who spend the most time on their cell phones have a tendency to be considerably less fit than the individuals who spend a smaller among of time on those devices. This, according to a study that was recently published within the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

The study was conducted by a team of scientists from Kent State University. During the first part of the study, they surveyed 305 college students about their physical activities and about their level of cell phone use. What they discovered was that the people who talked on their phones the most were also the ones who had the lowest activity levels. This, despite the fact that half of the people who used their cell phones the most said that their addiction to their devices didn’t have any impact on their activity levels.

In the second part of the study, 49 of the participants underwent a cardiovascular fitness test. What was determined aligned very well with the results that were found in the first part of the research. The people who used their cell phones the most were also the ones who scored the lowest in physical fitness on the tests.

This relationship between cell phone use and reduced fitness levels was explained in the study by saying that the more time an individual spends using a cell phone, the less time he or she has to do other things – including being active. The only exception was when the cell phone was being used to “kill time” while the person was actually working out.

A co-author of the study, Gabe Sanders PhD, a Northern Kentucky University assistant professor of exercise science and former fitness trainer, said that “If using a cellphone helps you ‘kill time’ on the elliptical, I’m all for it.”

However, it was also noted by Sanders in a previous study that when people are on their cell phones to talk, text, or do anything other than listen to music, they will run more slowly on a treadmill. When they listen to music, on the other hand, they will run more quickly. This was explained by saying that the cell phone is a distraction that stops the runner from keeping up his or her pace or holding the right form.

So the next time you think about using your smartphone, you might want to set it down and go for a power walk, first. You can make your call when you get back.

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