Can you use a Fitbit to motivate yourself to do your home exercise plan?
A patient’s home exercise program is essential for recovery. Even with the print outs of exercises that the therapists assign for home, patients seem to lack the incentive to complete them. A simple way to get motivated is through activity trackers like the Fitbit. These activity trackers are designed to monitor daily activity levels through goal settings and provide instant feedback (Ball, Bice, Adkins, 2015).
Studies have shown that technology can augment individual motivation to exercise by documenting physical activity goals and achievements (Ball, Et. Al, 2015). Through the Fitbit, patients are able to set their “active minutes” goal, any physical activity over 10 minutes, which can be used for the home exercise program.
These “active minutes” can be tracked through the Fitbit whenever a patient completes their home exercises. The home exercises and stretches are perfect before a workout since they activate the right muscles to prepare the body for exercise. This instant feedback will continue to motivate the patient, while providing them with their progress.
Also, Fitbit has an option to have silent alarms that will vibrate at the time they are set. This setting will be effective for the completion of the home exercise program by reminding the patients, set by times they have chosen, to complete their exercises. There is even a stopwatch on the Fitbit that can be used for exercises that focus on amount of time rather than repetition.
Although motivation differs for everyone, the Fitbit provides the patient with instant feedback that allows him or her to be more consciously aware of their home exercise program. The ability to track their progress will help the patient gauge their effort in completing the program. If you’re up for the challenge, connect with friends and encourage them to achieve their goal of doing their at home program!
Ball, James W., et al. “Qualitative Assessment of an Electronic Activity-Tracking Device: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Considerations in Behavior Change Interventions for Health Educators.” Health Educator, vol. 47, no. 1, Spring2015, pp. 20-26. EBSCOhost,proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/login?url+http://ssearch.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rzh&AN=115698963&site=ehost-live.
Written by Lauren Athey, Active Physical Therapy Summer 2017 Intern