Use of Fitness Trackers to Decrease Occupational Sitting Time for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Sedentary work habits have been associated with a number of health concerns, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. A recent study conducted in Sweden explored the use of mobile health interventions (“mHealth”) to reduce occupational sitting time in adults with type 2 diabetes and see how such programmes would be received and adopted in workplaces and by patients.

Combining the use of interviews, SMS reminders, counselling with specialist medical staff and activity tracking with the Garmin vívofit® 3, the research team was able to confirm the feasibility of stepwise goal-setting together with personalisation of mHealth intervention for reduced workplace sitting.

The use of the vívofit 3 allowed participants to track activity, automatically set goals, receive activity prompts and see when targets had been achieved. In doing so, participants experienced benefits, including:

Study participants reported lower levels of fatigue associated with sitting less and moving more, as well as experiencing increased personal integrity and autonomy.

“Activity trackers that prompt reductions in prolonged sitting and support stepwise goal‐setting, regular SMS‐reminders and simple resistance activities may facilitate patients to reduce sitting time at work.”1)

mHealth intervention carried out with the awareness, and support from colleagues and office employers was seen as acceptable among different office workplaces and could provide the tools and strategies needed to increase activity and reduce the impact of type 2 diabetes on patients and on health care provision.

Garmin smartwatches are not designed or intended to monitor or diagnose diseases or any medical conditions.
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  1. Syrjälä, M.B., Fharm, E., Dempsey, P.C., Nordendahl, M. and Wennberg, P. (2021), Reducing occupational sitting time in adults with type 2 diabetes: Qualitative experiences of an office‐adapted mHealth intervention. Diabet Med e14514.