Can Step Counts Predict Obesity?

Updated: 9/24/18 Did you know that smart phones could soon be a way for researchers to predict obesity rates across the world?

In a recent study published in the journal Nature, Stanford researchers worked with the mobile health company Azumio (which specializes in biometric mobile technology) to see if step counting on your mobile device could help to predict a country's obesity level. The study tracked physical activity by population in more than 100 countries and looked at smartphone users' age, gender, height and weight.  The study showed that in the United States, which has a greater obesity population, that there is a gap in the activity levels of men versus women. In countries with a small obesity population, men and women's activity levels were ranked more closely.

Individuals who are active daily, taking more steps, are less likely to suffer from obesity. Individuals who are sedentary, taking less steps daily, are part of populations that have a greater risk factor of becoming overweight. One way to use this data is for city planning.  In cities and towns that have paths, walkways, parks, and less vehicle usage, the population is likely to count more steps and men and women activity levels will be closer to each other.

There are lots of ways to track your steps, FitBits, free smart phone apps, pedometers, etc. These devices will hold you accountable to yourself and challenge you daily to take more steps. Set goals for yourself at the beginning of each day. To help get your goal steps in each day, park farther away from work so you have to walk farther, take stairs instead of the elevator, and commit to a walk every day for 20 minutes on your lunch break, even if it is walking laps around the building. The right music can help set your pace and may help you push harder for longer. Synchronizing your movements with the beat of the music can not only help you maintain a strong, rhythmic pace, it may also help you enjoy your workout more by making it feel less strenuous.  Focus on a healthier you.

Original Article Here:  http://time.com/4850108/obesity-rates-smartphones-study/