Behavior Change, Employers & Brokers, Health Plans, Health Systems, Medicare Advantage, Social Connectedness, Workforce Health | By | 02/03/21 | 3 Minute Read

How Wearables Will Play a Critical Role in Supporting Seniors

More and more seniors are turning to smart wearable technology to help them live healthier and more active lives. In a comprehensive study conducted by AARP, 45 percent of participating seniors reported increased motivation for healthier living after just six weeks of using wearables. And 67 percent of participants overall felt that such wearables were beneficial or of value. 

Let’s take a closer look at four reasons why wearables may be the secret ingredient that can help support seniors in managing their health. 

Wearables Encourage Daily Movement

While the CDC’s recommendation of 150 minutes of movement each week may sound like a lot of time for seniors, it’s not as daunting when you break it into daily sessions of 30 minutes a day, five days a week. 

Daily movement is important for everyone, including seniors, as regular exercise is a vital component of long-term physical and mental health. Regular physical activity can help reduce blood pressure, reduce risk of chronic disease, mitigate anxiety, and improve sleep. It can also boost a person’s overall mood. Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication, without the possible side effect. 

Wearables such as Fitbit devices can help motivate in all kinds of ways: by providing reminders to move, showing real-time stats such as activity, heart rate, and step count, and tracking daily and weekly step and exercise goals. Challenging friends in the Fitbit App also adds even more motivation and social interaction. Our achievement badges help a person recognize and celebrate their fitness accomplishments. 

Wearables Offer Convenience

Developing a workout routine this year has been anything but routine, as many gyms have temporarily closed or have limited their hours and occupancy levels. While some of the popular boutique fitness centers are still thriving, they typically offer high-impact, high-intensity training that is not geared toward seniors. 

With these changes, people are turning to home gyms and virtual workouts to stay active–and Fitbit is here to help! By using a Fitbit device and a Fitbit Premium membership, seniors who can no longer get to a gym can still stay active by taking virtual classes on their own convenient schedule.

Our paid subscription service, Fitbit Premium offers programs and workout plans for every goal. Seniors can find hundreds of training classes for functional fitness that can help improve their balance, strength, and flexibility. Fitbit Premium also includes audio workouts that help nurture your mind, body, and soul (a favorite of mine is the “Clear Your Mind Walking Meditation”).

Fitbit’s Social Functions Help Seniors Feel Connected

During these stressful times, staying connected has become even more important for all of us, and especially for seniors. Fitbit is user-friendly and gives seniors a chance to feel connected to their friends and family and like-minded groups via the Fitbit Community feature. 

In the Community app, they can join groups with members of similar interest, challenge their friends, attend local events and classes, keep up with fitness-related news, and find great healthy recipes (I personally check the “Healthy Snacking” board in Health Eating almost daily!). 

Wearables Can Help Seniors Feel More Independent

One other factor of high importance to seniors is independence. According to AARP research, three in four older Americans want to stay in their homes and age in place, and technology that allows them to track their health virtually can be critical to helping them achieve that goal. A wearable can help them track important metrics such as resting heart rate, sleep quality and even help track their weight loss or gain over time. 

With a wearable, seniors can set reminders to take their medication and to exercise. Fitbit Premium also provides a Wellness Report, which is a printable and easy-to-read overview of a person’s health and wellness data, including stats and charts for their heart data, weight (if tracked or self-logged), sleep, and activity for the last 30 days and up to the last year. The report also includes some guidelines to help people understand what this data means. 

The Fitbit Wellness Report gives seniors a record of their health data that they can share with their doctors. This is a valuable feature of Fitbit Premium, as research has shown that digital therapeutics can be used to help track health data, allowing a person to take proactive steps before medical conditions get worse. 

With so many benefits of wearables, the hardest choice for seniors might just be deciding which device fits their style.  

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