B-MOBILE: Can Your Phone Get You Moving?

While Apple is promising to make your chicken fat go away, some really smart researchers at Brown University have shown that their B-MOBILE smartphone app can work to reduce sedentary time.

The current study is the first of its kind to show that a phone application can be an effective intervention to reduce sedentary time. It’s important because sedentary time — independent of physical activity — has been show to increase the risk of a range of health problems, including obesity.

Just published in PLOS ONE, the study used a within-subject experimental design to compare three different interventions to a baseline condition. They found that 3-minute breaks after 30 minutes were better than 12-minute breaks after 120 minutes for reducing sedentary time and encouraging light physical activity. These were 1-week interventions. The lead author is Dale Bond.

iPhone Strength Ad - GymThe next step will be to test long term effects on sedentary time and, most importantly, the impact on health outcomes.

Meanwhile, Apple isn’t waiting. Their clever marketeers are having a blast by resurrecting the Kennedy-era “Chicken Fat” song that so many baby boomers know from their elementary school gym classes. They’ve grabbed a lot of attention for the physical activity apps and capabilities of their latest iPhone. If you haven’t seen it, click on the image at the right. It’s quite entertaining.

Maybe the evidence base will catch up with the marketing buzz.

Click here to read the B-MOBILE study and here to read more about B-MOBILE.

Images from the Apple iPhone 5s TV Ad — Strength © Apple

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