Did you know that the famous 10K steps per day goal was not originally based on science? manpo-keiTranslated as “10,000-step-meter” by a Japanese pedometer manufacturer in 1965. As we know at Fitbit, there has been a wide range of research since then, actually suggesting that meeting this daily goal can improve sleep duration and quality. , has a positive effect on self-reported mental health, increases blood oxygen levels, and lowers heart rate.
Research shows that it is not only the step count, but also the intensity that matters. Since 2020, Fitbit has inspired Fitbit users to increase their physical activity levels with the introduction of personalized Active Zone Minutes (AZM) minutes of high-intensity activity that count for every minute spent on any workout are based on the target heart rate you achieve. Heart pumping.
For this analysis, we examined whether hitting the American Heart Association’s recommended physical activity goal of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week results in measurable improvements in Fitbit users. We also looked at approximately how long users should meet these physical activity goals in order to get the highest return on investment on these aspects of their health.
We analyzed 471 million AZMs and 106 billion steps from anonymous and consenting users who met physical activity goals in February 2022, but not January 2022, and assessed whether they saw improvements in their health compared to users who did not who did not meet the targets during the same period. Results show a positive health effect as long as at least one threshold is reached. The health benefits become even more apparent when users receive multiple recommendations.
incoming users both Goals of 10K steps per day and 150 AZM per week saw improvements in several metrics compared to those who didn’t meet those thresholds. Specific improvements were as follows:
- heart rate variability improved by 20 percent (6.1 milliseconds or ms difference)
- 8.1 percent lower resting heart rate (4 bpm difference)
- stress management scores 7.3 percent lower (5.4 difference)1
In addition, users who meet or exceed the recommendation of only 10K steps per day still have 3.44 milliseconds higher heart rate variability (higher is better), 3.05 beats per minute lower resting heart rate, and comparable users’ The comparison shows a 3.97 improvement in their stress management scores. ,
Users who meet or exceed the recommendation of only 150 AZMs per week showed 3.08 ms higher heart rate variability, 1.35 beats per minute lower resting heart rate, and 5.08 higher stress management scores than comparable users . These findings suggest that meeting One One of the goals can still be improving your health.
Next, we looked at how long the same user who didn’t initially meet the physical activity goals needed to be active to reap the health benefits:
- Reaching 150 AZMs per week and 10K steps per day for at least two weeks There was a 20 percent increase in heart rate variability, a 4.3 percent decrease in RHR, and a 4.2 percent increase in sleep scores for remaining at a physical activity level below target.
- Users who managed to meet physical activity goals give an extra weeks (6 weeks total) also saw a 4.9 percent reduction in their resting heart rate²
- Importantly, these positive effects on health persisted for more than 4 weeks, even after activity decreased!
Main recommendation: For the biggest gains, shoot for 150 AZM per week in addition to 10K steps per day. If that’s too much, aim for activity balanced with some high-intensity workouts for measurable benefits. Use Fitbit’s Activity Goals to set daily goals for steps and AZMs, and remember to turn on those reminders to walk! By enabling these features, Fitbit can help you set goals and achieve your health goals.
1 This analysis was not designed to directly compare AZM and step count physical activity targets because these different workouts are subject to different variables that affect health, such as measurement error. It is therefore possible that the association we found with health is due to some other overlooked feature of exercise.
² Since these analyzes were observational in nature, we were unable to control for all confounding variables, so it is possible that the associations we found with physical activity and health are attributable to other, unobservable characteristics in the groups. However, other studies, including prospective randomized controlled trials, have shown comparable changes in RHR and HRV over similar time periods.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.