As part of a study carried out by the Ulm Universitätsklinikum*, the positive effect of activity sensors on the development of the body circumference and body weight of children and teenagers suffering with obesity was confirmed. The study was carried out during a structured, outpatient training programme. Beurer GmbH gave support by providing activity sensors.
The background: obesity and physical activity
Obesity is a nutritional and metabolic illness with noticeable severe excess weight. The causes of obesity are the combination of incorrect nutrition and physical inactivity. As soon as children reach the age of starting school, their physical activity decreases. Preventative measures against obesity are therefore eating healthily as well as sufficient physical activity. For this reason, increasing physical activity should be the main aim of the fight against obesity. Pedometers or accelerometers can be used in order to record this activity. For this study, Beurer provided its AS 50 activity sensor. The aim of the study is long-term weight stabilisation amongst children and teenagers who are still growing.
Investigating the impact of an activity sensor
As part of the study, a total of 32 obese children and teenagers between the ages of 8 and 16 were accompanied and examined during the structured outpatient obesity training programme between January 2011 and January 2013. Each of the periods of the study was eight months. The participants were divided into two groups: a control group and an intervention group. During the series of studies, the control group underwent an outpatient training programme which contained nutritional training suitable for children, as well as activity and behavioural therapy. In the first four months, the intervention group were also given a Beurer AS 50 activity sensor to put on their wrists. In the period of intervention, the data from this was mostly read out on a weekly basis.
At the beginning, middle (after four months) and end of each of the studies (after eight months), the participants' body weight as well as their height, circumference of stomach, waist and upper arm was measured by the doctor.
Results of the study
The results of the study confirm that wearing an activity sensor has a positive impact on the development of children and teenagers. And this is in the long-term, too. Whilst using a pedometer in particular, movement was more moderate than intensive. Different results were obtained for girls and boys. Comparatively, at all times during the study, boys lost more from their stomachs in particular than girls. The average number of steps taken daily also varied between girls and boys. Per day, boys had an average number of steps of 13,755; girls achieved an average of 11,449 steps. In general, it can be said that by using an activity sensor amongst the intervention group, a larger relative weight loss was seen than amongst the control group – the visualisation of physical activity by using the pedometer increases motivation and therefore the amount of daily activity.
"The topic of prevention is something which is very close to our hearts, which is why we feel studies such as these are so important and like to support them," says Marco Bühler, Managing Director of Beurer GmbH. "On the subject of activity in particular, we therefore like to offer our customers innovative products. Back in September, we presented our new AS 80 activity sensor, which now also provides the option of personally tracking your sleep, too."
* Dr. A. Moss and Dr.M. Wabisch (2014) Nachhaltige Wirkung eines Aktivitätssensors (Beurer AS 50) auf die Gewichtsabnahme im Rahmen eines strukturierten ambulanten Schulungsprogramms (Long-term effect of an activity sensor (Beurer AS 50) on weight loss as part of a structured outpatient training programme)