The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness 2017 02 08() doi 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.06688-9
Increasing levels of physical activity (PA) and aerobic fitness can reduce non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) yet patient’s physical activity 1 and aerobic fitness 2 have been shown to be lower than healthy counterparts. Pedometers are effective at promoting PA 3, yet more ‘advanced consumer level activity monitors’ (AAMs) can provide greater feedback to the user. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of new advances in commercially available wearable technology on PA, aerobic fitness and disability of low back pain participants.
Seventeen participants volunteered and were provided with Fitbit Charge HR (FIT n=9) or pedometer (PED n=8). Participants completed a 6- week, multi-component, physical activity programme lasting two hours per week. All activities were designed to be relevant to activities of daily living.
Non-significant (P>0.05) increases in step count were identified from pre to post intervention in both FIT, (23%) and PED (29%) groups. At one month follow up, aerobic fitness significantly (P<0.05) increased by 33% in the FIT but not PED group. Non-significant reductions in both FIT (19%) and PED (13%) disability scores were identified and remained stable at one-month follow-up. No significant change in body composition were reported for either group (P>0.05).
Our data suggest feedback on user exercise intensity provided by AAMs, may show promise in improving aerobic fitness. AAMs were not more effective than pedometers at increasing the volume of PA, or reducing disability in NSCLP participants.